Africa Week- Sand Dunes, Part 3

You probably thought I was done blogging about sand dunes and climbing and all that. I’m not.

I’ve got ONE more day to talk about. One more sandy, hilly day to write about, then I’m done. Done writing about mountains and hills and sand dunes and pain. But that also means I’ll be done writing about some of the greatest fun I’ve had throughout all my travels.

Our last day in Namibia consisted of getting up after sunrise (hallelujah) and jumping in a safari type vehicle for one last tour. We headed out to Sandwich Harbour on the Skeleton Coast. First a little info on the Skeleton Coast. We wondered where it got that name, but after driving a few kilometers, we quickly could SEE why. There were dead animals and skeletons everywhere. We saw a skeleton of a sea turtle, a seal corpse and craziest of all… HUMAN remains. I know that sounds nuts but there they were, just lying there on the sand. Our guide explained that they are clearly VERY old from the towns that used to exist under the sand dunes and people just leave them be. Amazing! No, we didn’t get photos of human bones. I think we were all too shocked that we didn’t even think of pulling out the camera.

Anyways, back to the tour… The driver took us on a wild ride over the dunes. There was one point where we came screeching to a halt (if you could actually screech in sand) and within inches of the front of the vehicle, there was a steep drop off. All of us thought we narrowly escaped death. We couldn’t believe that the crazy driver came that close to going over the edge. When we all questioned “what do we do now?” and “where do we go from here” his reply was, “we go down.” WHAT  This guy must be mad!  But then we started down the hill. Granted, we went very slowly- but it was still crazy. The angle was SO steep, it definitely felt like we were on some sort of ride. We tried to get a photo, but the camera just cannot capture the depth and angle and of the dunes. Just look at how massive and amazing they are…

The rest of the day was spent observing nature and our surroundings. Sandwich Bay is home to thousands of flamingos and other birds. There was also a little lake right near the dunes and these massive fish kept jumping out of the water. Our guide told us that they jump to get away from their predators (sharks). It was amazing to think there were sharks in this small lake, but it was true- we even saw one with our own eyes.

    

Of course it wouldn’t be a day in Namibia without a hike up a massive sand dune. Even though we walked up so many dunes on our trip, they were all so different, its hard to explain. As always, running down the dune was much more fun than walking up!

    

Namibia wasn’t one of those places you go to sip cocktails and relax. I can honestly say that Namibia was probably the most physically and mentally challenging trip I’ve ever taken. Between waking up most days before the sun and climbing mountains and sand dunes every day- I was exhausted at the end of it all. Luckily we were able to enjoy one last beautiful evening in Namibia enjoying a sunset and a BBQ. I will forever have fond memories of this trip.  The laughter, sweat and tears (yes there were tears) all worked together to help make this a trip of a lifetime.

3 Responses to Africa Week- Sand Dunes, Part 3

  1. Kimberley April 15, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    Love the posts Elsja! Was such a great trip – so different to any other country I have been to. See you in July!!

  2. Monica April 16, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    REALLY loving your Africa blog. Not only did you have a trip of a life time, this blog keeps it alive for you and us, for all time. As a child, I was obsessed with going to Africa and still am. Your trip is giving me a chance to see it and know what awaits me, someday.

  3. daisy April 19, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    I think I want to go to Africa now!! I’ve loved the pics and stories – and OMGOSH I want to see white flamingos!!

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