Africa Week- Sand Dunes, Part 2

Is it just me or is Africa Week lasting much longer than 1 week?

The morning after a day of climbing the dunes in Sossusvlei, we got on the road early to head to Swakopmund. We had to be there by 1:00 or so in order to make our appointment for quad biking and sandboarding. The drive was probably my favorite drive of the trip. There were just so many things to look at and the landscape was different after every hour of driving. We even saw completely wild giraffes. We made a little stop (we had a bit of time) to get out of the car and get closer to the giraffes. (Notice Andrew’s self-defense tools in case any of the nearby springbok decided to attack).

We then kept on driving which was when we blew out the tire. We did NOT have time for this. We were already cutting it close if we wanted to make it to our quad biking tour so the guys worked quickly and efficiently to get the tire changed. We pulled into Swakopmund with NO time to spare. We had to eat though so we stopped and grabbed a sandwich that we scarffed down on the way to the quad biking place. Once we arrived, we quickly filled out our forms, put on our helmets and jumped on the bikes. Whew- we did not even have a moment to rest in all the mayhem.

Quad biking on the dunes was unbelievable! It was definitely one of my favorite things of the whole trip. The dunes were breathtaking! We had to stay in a single file line and follow the guide perfectly if we didn’t want to end up dropping off a 90 degree cliff here or there. Our only indication that death could be approaching was that the guide would just raise up his left hand and point to the drop off… after that you better watch out!

The bikes were SUPER fast. At certain points I was pretty freaked out but I just couldn’t slow down or stop because we had to stay in our line. I was forced to keep up but it made it so much more exciting. We actually would ride up the steep sides of dunes as well and I knew that I HAD to keep my speed up then because if I rode up those things going too slow, I’d just tip over. That would be no fun.

It’s REALLY hard to get a sense for how amazing these dunes were just from the pictures. The depth and height of them just doesn’t present well. You really had to be there to appreciate it.

After we were finished on the quad bikes we rushed back to the facility where there was a driver waiting to take us to the sandboarding site. Let’s remember that we had not had one moment’s rest since we woke up at 6:30am (sitting in a car for 5+ hours doesn’t count). We got to the sandboarding site and were greeted with some unpleasant weather. WIND. Massive amounts of horrible wind. Wind plus sand does not equal happiness. Wind plus sand plus trying to carry one of these boards up a giant sand dune… well, that was just brutal.

  

But coming down? That was SO much fun. If we could just come down over and over this would have been one of my favorite activities. Unfortunately there are no lifts so once you came down you just turned right back around and started walking up the dune, again. Over and over. More climbing. More hills. My legs HATED me by this point of the trip. The girls opted for the lie down boards and the boys mostly used the snowboards, but they did get a chance to ride on ours as well and I think they all thought it was much more fun to lie down. They even had a gun to clock our speed and at one point Andrew got up to 70kph on the lie down board! Pretty insane!

   

Sandboarding was tons of fun but after a few runs, you just do not have the energy to keep walking up those dunes. Oh and when you’re done, you pretty much have sand coming out of every crevice of your body for a week. Luckily the guides had lots of lovely snacks and cold beers for us to enjoy after all that hard work.  What an amazing day of sandy adventures!

2 Responses to Africa Week- Sand Dunes, Part 2

  1. Stuart April 14, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    I have still got sand in my nose and ears.

  2. Andrew April 14, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    Dude I played tennis today and am still getting sand coming out of my shoes and sticking to my feet. I just can’t get it out.

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