Day 220. 30th July 2023. From Sossus Oasis Campsite to Solitaire Desert Camp. Solitaire. Namibia.

The cold windy front, expected at 4am, staggered in at 8am and from then, a beautiful fine, but cool day, out of the sun.

Superlatives, overused, can be tedious, but you’ll just have to take our word for the scenery we are being treated to. The pastel colours of pinks, brown, straw, blue, grey & red take on different hue’s with the changing light. We take photo’s but they cannot represent the whole picture, sadly.

As usual we were the last away from the camp this morning, sharp at 10am, which is pretty good for us. I bet none of the others have a cooked breakfast. The bus load of campers were off by dawn, around 7am. The popular trend is to drive the 60k’s to the Dunes and watch the sun coming up over them. The bus starting, woke us..:)

Tourists come from all over, Europe mainly, hire rental 4×4’ campers, in the capital, Windhoek and drive a circuitous route which take in the dunes.

Driving to view the dunes

There are a couple stops on the way to the end point of the road, where people are allowed to climb the dunes. We decided to forgo the experience as Jen did not want sand in her shoes..:) Though later, we gave it a jolly good try.

Will we or won’t we climb it?

Is this far enough?

While standing watching some people climb the steepest dune and Jen going far enough for a photo op., I got chatting to Jacko, who was watching his wife make it to the top. They are from Holland and I had to photograph his jacket.

What likelihood of that?

Arriving at the car park where all the busses had transferred their passengers into a fleet of 4×4 vehicles that take their people and drive the next 4k’s to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, through very deep sand.

As friend Neil and I found out many years ago, in the deserts of central Australia, there are certain things you need to know before driving in sand and gravel.

At one point on the way in, we stopped to take a pic and had difficulty getting going again. A little back and forward and low ratio, got us mobile again. Nobody want’s to stop to help, as they are all fighting their own battles. It was good fun.

On our way back out, there were two Toyota’s stuck deep, nearly to the top of their wheels, and abandoned.

Out at the terminal part of the road and parking up, we got chatting with another Pom and his lovely Dutch wife, Dee, and son. They had hired a V8 200 Series Land Cruiser and were enjoying their camping journey around Namibia.

Some of the hired 4×4 campers

After quite a long walk to view the nearly 1000 year old trees that had been surrounded by dunes and looking very dead, we half climbed a dune then went back to the car park for lunch.

Heading for Solitaire

Leaving Sossusvlei at around 1.30pm it was decided to head for the settlement of Solitaire 138k’s away. It was heaving with hired 4×4 campers and their passengers on arrival at Solitaire. It seems it’s the only roadhouse with dining facilities between Walvis Bay and Sossus Oasis, and the dunes.

The drive again, mostly on gravel roads. I just love gravel roads. It’s interesting to see the tourists pottering along at 60kph to avoid being shaken to bits by the corrugations. We fly past, giving them a wide berth so not to shower them with stones, at 100kph and skipping over the top of the corrugations. I bet they think, smart arse, but we don’t have the ability to explain.

So, After refueling Jen booked us a camp site. Another beautiful site and setting.

The sun has just gone behind the distant dunes and we are going to a have a very chilly night but after dining in-house on Kudu steaks.

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