Oct 222013

Actually, she wasn’t. My travel buddy, Harleigh, was almost to the ridge at this point, which led up to the top of the immense Dune 7. In an earlier post, she was making good progress on two feet, striding up with no problem. Then, it got steeper and she had to use her hands to claw her way up the last few meters.

There were three of us on the dune and we all took different routes. Harleigh got to the top first, I didn’t make it at all (I blame the camera gear).

Girl climbing a sand dune in front of overcast sky in Namibia

May 052013

I had to walk a bit to get the pictures of the desert moonscape I posted earlier. On the way back I liked the look of the paths leading back to our inadequate 4×4. If you plan on driving around Namibia, it’s best to get a proper truck. This one was fine, until we left the tarmac. We had to drive at half the speed limit most places with giant trucks flying past us. We also managed to get it stuck in a sand dune at one point.

Paths in the desert in Namibia

Apr 082013

Today’s photo is much simpler than my usual, but I think there’s something interesting about it. I wrote about how difficult it was to climb these dunes in this post: The Climb Dune 7 Namibia. Here, another of my travel buddies has selected a route that she decided was easier. At this point you can tell she’s starting to get a bit tired, atop that giant wave of sand.

A girl walking near the top of a giant sand dune at dune 7 in Namibia

Feb 162013

Not all 4x4s are off road vehicles. So, when you rent one, with a goal to go anywhere you want, choosing the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best idea. Still, it definitely made this drive from Walvis Bay to Sossusvlei interesting.

“Corrugated road, 20 km… speed limit reduced to 60km/hr,” the sign said.

I didn’t have to wonder exactly what a corrugated road was for long before we fired onto the bumpiest surface I’ve ever been on. A corrugated road is exactly what it sounds like, small ridges like those in a sheet of corrugated metal. The car felt like it was going to shake to pieces. I slowed to 60km/hr and the vibrations didn’t stop. Eventually, things calmed down at 30km/h.

So, slowly we rolled on, past vast expanses of desert, punctuated occasionally by wild ostriches. I drove for about an hour and a half before switching to the passenger seat. It wasn’t long after this that we climbed a bit, and got this view back across the expanse we had just crossed.

Three quiver trees and a mountain in the Namibia desert with a bright blue sky and whispy clouds

Feb 072013

Off we drove, into the off road area at Dune 7 in our sub-par 4×4. We picked up speed as we prepared to climb from the hard packed sand at the base to the flowing dunes. Then, we stopped. We were stuck. Fifteen minutes later we dug, rocked and pushed the car out and back down to the hard packed sand. It was time to set off on foot.

Walking on these dunes really isn’t easy. The sand is very soft and it doesn’t take much of a gradient to feel like you’re getting lower down with each step forward you take. As a result, the three of us took off in different directions, attacking what we thought was the easiest route. Harleigh, pictured below, took the direct route up some of the steepest inclines. Her momentum carried her about three quarters of the way to the top, where I was able to catch this photo of her just before she was forced to drop to her hands and knees and drag herself the rest of the way.

I was jealous. As I was carrying two cameras and a tripod I couldn’t used my hands to make the climb without dragging my gear through the sand. I spent quite a while trying different routes until I found a way, using less steep bits, that let me reach the ridge.

Splitting up worked out well for me as I was able to snap a few pictures of the dunes dwarfing the girls and giving a real sense of the immensity of these mountains of sand.

A girl climbing up a steep sand dune at dune 7 in namibia

Feb 052013

I climbed on top of a rock to try to get away from the freezing cold water snapping at my heals as the sun set on Windhoek beach. When I turned around I spotted the remnant of this marriage proposal in the sand. Hopefully the wedding will last longer than this message did!

Be cool if one day they stumble upon this photo.

A marriage proposal scraped into the sand on Windhoek beach in Capetown is washed away by the waves as the tide comes in.

Jan 272013

This is the backside of Dune 7 in Namibia. You can rent quad bikes here, or go sand dune boarding. We decided that rather than do either of these activities we’d take our own 4×4 into the off-road area. It took us about 3 minutes to get stuck on the side of the dune. Thankfully we were able to push it free after digging out the sand around the wheels. After this we stuck to the hard sand until parking it and setting off up the dunes on foot.

Ripples of sand lead to the back side of Dune 7, Namibia in front of a blue sky with fluffy white clouds

Jan 112013

I’m back from a great journey through South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. I know I’m loads of pictures behind, but I’m going to make up for it, as soon as I’m over this jet-lag. For today, here’s a photo of a penguin couple at Boulder’s Bay, near Simonstown, South Africa.

Two African Penguins or Jackass penguins and their shadows on a sandy beach at Boulder's Bay, South Africa.

Oct 022012

Once I got the weather I was after at Horseshoe I took quite a few pictures from the top of the rock there. Here’s another one, taken as the sun climbs a bit higher through the haze, spilling golden rays across the light pink sand and adding an extra glow to the cool turquoise water.

View of Horseshoe Bay Bermuda beach from top of the rock with the sun spilling golden rays across the light pink sand and adding an extra glow to the cool turquoise water.