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Out and about in Namibia: Hot-footing it across the Namib

If only I could blow on the soles of my feet!  Pain, pain, ouch, ah, ah...hot, hot!  Sporting my preferred attire of shorts and bare feet, I took off at a pace that could leave Usain Bolt in the dust, determined not to return to my tent like any sensible person and don appropriate footwear.  Sadly, my fleet-footedness wasn’t in the least bit athletic or dignified; in fact I fear that I looked much like a frog doing Riverdance.  Not cool.

Footprints in the Namib

Unjustly cursing the deep red sand of the Namib that had left my feet somewhat tender, I went to soak them in the pool.  I swam up and down with torpor appropriate to a mid-thirties afternoon in the Namib (the desert was mid-thirties, not me...let’s be clear).  It occurred to me that I was swimming lengths on top of a sand-dune.  There can’t be many places in the world where you can say that. Having cooled my heels, I joined my fellow travellers for the obligatory sundowner.  The open landrover wound its way along the “road” (two tracks in the red sand), between dry-blue grass that looked rather like clumps of tumble-weed, ready to scatter in the wind at any moment.   Suddenly, the ridge of dunes gave on to a 180° view of such depth and emptiness that I could do nothing but just stare and stare. 

It was vast yet the silence and emptiness made it almost two-dimensional – like a film set all prepped and ready for something dramatic to happen. Huge gnarled mountains provided a back-drop which changed from grey to red to purple in the setting sun.  Fairy circles (more about these later) dotted the wide straw-coloured valley floor as though some divine interior designer had opted frivolously for polka-dots for a bit of a laugh.  Sitting with cold green glass bottle in hand and feet wiggling deeper into the sand, warm wind stroking my bare arms....I wished for time to stand still.  Later that evening, I seriously considered sleeping on the lounger on my verandah because it seemed such a waste to cover up the gzillions of stars with canvas. It’s hard to do this place justice with mere words so may I suggest you saunter over to our Facebook page and lose yourself in some stunning imagery from Wolwedans.

Posted by: Amanda Mitchell

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