I think the family can be forgiven for thinking we had arrived at the gates of Hell on the last stop of our Namibian tour. By 8am, the heat outside our airconditioned 4 x 4 matched that of a pizza oven and the official on the gate at Sossusvlei (‘dead end marsh’) had Hitler’s demeanour. Legitimate permit notwithstanding, she scrutinised everything except our nose hairs before we were allowed to drive through and witness Namibia’s famous red dunes in the southern part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park.For anyone visiting this magical place, climbing Dune 45 is a must do and I was keen until I opened the car window – or was it the door?. Regardless, all my dreams of climbing this magnificant mound of sand and taking photographs National Geographic would be clamouring to buy evapourated in seconds.Easy to be wise after the fact, I know, but December is NOT the best time to visit Namibia if you battle with extreme heat. It was in fact 41 degrees Celsius the sign at the local service station informed us later.Still, it was a magical experience and I remain in awe at how anything can survive here – yet some animals do as this Oryx spoor and some later sightings show..
Perspiring and bright pink we headed for Deadvlei, the photographers paradise. By a cruel twist of fate and in the delerium of the heatwave my camera settings changed on the final downhill to the pan (I must have bumped the dial) and every one of my shots inside Deadvlei was completely overexposed. Such is life 🙂 The shade of an acacia tree and the basic, but functional toilets made all the difference. before we fled to the comfort of the double-cab and headed to our overnight stop.