Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dunes with mom

The much anticipated visit from with my mother has been fantastic so far. After her arrival, and getting over the excitement of seeing one another, we spent a few days in Windhoek eating great food and catching up on sleep. Then the adventure really began.

We drove South West to the world famous (and Namibia’s number 1 tourist attraction) Sossousvlei in the Namib dessert, the oldest desert in the world. Our drive there was fantastic as we were surprised by the panoramas as we drove through ever-changing landscapses. Sossousvlei is known for the tall, majestic red sand dunes, which get their colour from the iron content found in the sand. We stayed overnight just outside the park gate so that we could get in at 6am when the gate opens, as the colours are more dramatic in the soft light of morning.

“Dune 45” is one dune in particular that you are allowed to climb, and so all three of us slowly made our way up taking in the breathtaking view of dune upon dune. After having lots of sandy fun on top (see pictures!) we made our way down and drove further on to make our way to “Dead Vlei” which is a pan of 900 year old fossilized trees and a beautiful sight. By the time we did all this the sun was full blast at noon and it was time to seek some shelter. What an amazing morning!

It took a couple of days for us to get to the Atlantic coast with more surprising landscapes along the way. The desert landscape changed dramatically to light yellow dunes and it was amazing to see them literally disappear into the sea! Mom never ceases to amaze me as she was keen to participate in Quad biking in the dunes (especially after she learned that it was not a regular bike that you have to use your “quads” for!). So we took an amazing 4 hour tour of the dunes on our Quad bikes stopping to learn about the flora and fauna, and the 10 000 year old fossilized foot prints, jewellery and pots, and human skeletons from when the bush people lived in the dunes with all the animals.

Mom was also keen to go sea kayaking in the lagoon near Walvis Bay, and we paddled along side colonies of seals and dolphins that were jumping right beside us, and thousands of flamingos. I have to say that Swakopmund also offered really nice shopping (surprisingly Daryl didn’t enjoy that part quite as much as mom and I, but made sure to sample the great coffee).

The journey continued in the North West region of Namibia to Twyfelfountein where we admired the most extensive and oldest rock art in all of Africa. Then we had the chance to visit a Cheetah Conservation Project to see those amazing animals run!

Other than me successfully bursting a tire, we made it home to Rundu safely and were thrown into the midst of OVC Christmas planning…

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