Today, we go out with Lucas, one of the guides from the Hoodia Desert Lodge. We are headed to Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, the Namib Desert and Big Daddy.
Our first stop is an area beside the road where we are going to look at small desert life. Lucas guides us through the sand and around the brush pointing out animal tracks. We spy jackal, rabbit, gecko, scorpion and the Dancing White Lady Spider tracks. Lucas finds the spider’s lair and starts digging, suddenly out pops this huge spider! We all jump back!
One of our goals on this trip is to climb Big Daddy. Big Daddy is the tallest sand dune in this part of the Namib Desert. The other four people are not going to climb, but Murray and I are determined. We each take three bottles of water, a Coke and a power bar and head out. The distances are large here, it took us almost 20 minutes to get to the bottom of the dune. And then we start to climb. I follow Murray, right in his footsteps, as it is easier to use an existing footprint. It takes us just over an hour to get to the top. I think many people we meet are surprised to find two “old” people climbing this dune. Our backcountry ski climbing has paid off on this climb. The fun part is walking down the steep slope into Deadlei. Step, squeak, slide, step, squeak, slide. Lucas meets us down on the Deadlei, he has been keeping an eye on us as we climb and descend.
Lunch, set table with ceramic dinner ware, cutlery and wine glasses, is under a tree at a picnic area. An oryx wanders close and is slightly put out as we are in his afternoon nap spot. Our companions for the day are M&O from Switzerland and C&N from England. We all get along wonderfully and enjoy our lunch in the dessert.
After a quick stop at a canyon we head back to the lodge. We are all happy, tired and in desperate need of showers. It was a great day!