Friday, August 31, 2007

Red Sand in My Shoe

This morning, before dawn we drove out to see the big dunes at the Namib-Naukluft National Park and traveled an hour or so before we reached them. I was the only non-photographer of the four guests in our group.
Most of the route down the river valley was flanked by large red dunes -- not that you could see a river. Most watercourses in this area only have flowing water for two or three days after a big rain. The name of the area was Sossusvlei, which means the valley where water collects. Sand dunes have blocked the natural river valley and some times of the year there's a natural reservour. But it was dry now.
We raced other tour groups for the chance to be the first group to Deadvlei, a location where, 600 years ago, sand dunes blocked a smaller watercourse and killed all the trees there, leaving scenic dead trunks on a flat, dry plain. But then one of the landrover-type vehicles got stuck in the dry sand and we stopped, with others, to help dig them out. Of course, I fell flat on my face when the car finally moved while we were pushing it. They got out and I was grateful for just how soft the sand was.
We hiked a kilometer across the sand to reach the place, and then back when Mary Ann finally finished taking pictures, and had a nice picnic breakfast under a tree. I could tell that my shoes were full of sand, but I delayed emptying them until we returned.
Ah! My feet feel so good.

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