30 July 2012
It was chilly this morning as I dismantled my tent. I could smell coffee nearby. Dishes need to be done, tables dismantled and folded, waste collected and disposed. Getting all the gear packed and stacked into the truck is now more organised. This overland journey is participation camping . All participants chip in to do the daily chores. Alliances are formed by the way individuals contribute! Seating in the transport is random to ensure no preferences are given. Getting along over the next 20 days will be determined by the give and take attitude. Unfortunately some take a little more than others. Group travelling is such. A small group helps.
From the southern Namib desert, we head north. Namib desert is the oldest desert in the world. As the journey continued on gravel roads, the landscape continually evolved. The barren landscape is dotted with the tough Acacia and Camel thorn trees and at time large tracts of golden tall grasses. Occasionally, reddish mountains just floated on the flat surface. The heat from the African sun was unrelenting. The dust churned by the moving vehicle is blinding at times. The heat from above and the dust from within can be challenging in a “sealed” truck. The desert is beautiful with varying shades of colors, forms and the shifting light. The sky was now laden with puffy clouds. Amongst the tall golden grasses, a handsome herd of Oryx grassed. I was excited to see wildlife as it was meant to be. We passed through several towns. It was interesting to see the wilderness and suddenly small communities in-between. The ethnicity also varied between these townships. After a long ride, we reached our campsite, just outside the park, at Sesserim. A tidy place with a bar, pool and some cottage huts nearby. It looks like the desert town to be. At the bar, I savored sweet ice-cold ice cream. It melted rapidly into my throat. Bliss. Later, I wandered into the nearby grassland with the odd camel thorn trees. Springbok fed on the grasses nearby ubder the shade of a tree. My eysight was peeled in expectation to spot a leopard. Wishful thinking perhaps. The bright reddish African sun was already setting. The distant hills took on a red hue and soon were just silhouettes on the horizon. I stumbled back into camp.