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Namibia Dune and Desert Adventure

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Namibia Dune and Desert Adventure

Postby V51JP » Wed May 18, 2011 8:33 pm

We have been planning this adventure for nearly 3 years and at last a date was set that suited everybody. From the 8th May to the 13th May our adventure was booked with Coastway Tours.
All participants drove to Luderitz on Saturday 7th and we all stayed at Obelix village. Here we had a meet and greet with our tour operator and met the other adventurers we did not know yet. 17 adults and 10 kids, this was going to be one hell of a trip! The GPS seemed to know something:
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Sunday 8th May:

Postby V51JP » Wed May 18, 2011 8:34 pm

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At 8h30 we met up at Coastway’s premises to get introduced to each other and meet our tour guides: Len, Luciano, Festus and Kamutjona. Every vehicle was fitted with a two way radio and off we went, 30km tar road to the turnoff and another 30 km to Koichab Pan.
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Here we aired down the tyres, had another meeting at which Len told as the basic rules of the dune trip. Very easy, even the kids understood the rules: everything we take in comes back out, drive in the tracks Len makes for us, have fun and take lots of Photos!
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The dunes on day 1 where a lot of fun and gave the inexperienced a little chance to get used to what was ahead. At 13h00 lunch was served on top of a dune and we saw our first sidewinder snake and dessert chameleon, at 14h00 our adventure went on.
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At 16h00 we reached Suzi the old CMP Ford truck. Very interesting to see what the prospectors tried to make life easier!
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After Suzi we departed for our first campsite in the dunes and did our first mayor dune decent, nearly 200 meters down a slipface into camp. We pitched camp and where treated to a fantastic dinner. (This was going to be the standard every night and I must say that Coastway Tours have the whole meal thing organized to perfection!!)
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Monday 9th May

Postby V51JP » Wed May 18, 2011 8:35 pm

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We are up early and see a beautiful sunrise over the dessert. The weather is on our side and we have a hearty breakfast before breaking up our camp and starting our adventure for the day. Len tells us that the dunes will be a little more demanding. We reach the Bulldozer, a machine that was sent to retrieve Suzi after breaking down, also broken down in the dessert. The bulldozer crew built a house in their wait to be rescued.
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Lunch is at Sylvia Hill. The kids discover Len’s peanut butter and from here on peanut butter sandwiches are the favourite at every meal.
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After lunch we tackle some more dunes. The first casualty is reported with the Pajero’s bumper being damaged on a dune descent. This puts a little damper on the high spirits but is soon forgotten with all the fun driving the dunes. The sunset is awesome and we settle in for the night. Everybody is in bed early, a sign that the day’s activities took its toll on everyone!
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Tuesday 10th May

Postby V51JP » Wed May 18, 2011 8:36 pm

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We wake up to a very wet sunrise in the dessert which turns into a beautiful morning almost instantly! We have breakfast and pack up camp. Today is the day of the dunes and we tackle some tricky stuff right from the start. Almost everybody needs to get towed out somewhere due to too little ground clearance or some or other judgement error and at the end only four 4X4s did not need assistance yet.
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We break for lunch at a huge dune that ends in the ocean. It is low tide and after lunch we descend the dune and drive along the beach for a while. We take another run at the dunes and set up camp on the beach. What a day! This was what everyone has been waiting for and we share great stories at the campfire, laughing at each other’s mistakes.
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Wednesday 11th May

Postby V51JP » Wed May 18, 2011 8:37 pm

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Today has mainly beach driving and some mine towns on the agenda. We depart after the usual ritual of breaking up camp and breakfast. Our shower water is running low and Len takes us to Fischersbrunn, a little fishing village of old that has a well. We fill all the cans with water and are soon on our way on the beach. In the distance we can see Hollam’s Bird Island, a whaling station of time gone by. All the waste was dumped in the ocean back in the day and it is not long before we reach a piece of beach where the Atlantic has swept huge amounts of whale bones.
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We pass Moeb bay with its little huts and surfboats, used to bring mining equipment to shore and turn inland towards the mining town of Grillenberger. Tires need to be inflated to prevent damage. The road passes through a huge saltpan and our convoy has to turn around and take a detour.
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We pass the “perdekar” and the ox wagon and see an 80 KM long pipeline that the prospectors laid to get water to the mine towns.
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Grillenberger was a mining town before WW1 and was abandoned because the diamond yield was not high enough. The trail leads past Charlottenfelder and Holsatia. Our campsite is not far from Holsatia and we settle in for an early night. The night is clear and cold with a stunning sunset.
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Thursday 12th May

Postby V51JP » Wed May 18, 2011 8:38 pm

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Breaking up camp has become routine and we are packed and ready to go before breakfast which is a real treat, like every morning. Today we have some dune driving on the menu but the highlight will be the shipwrecks along the coastline. We reach the Eduard Bohlen and are amazed how far land inward the ship lays. This wreck has become the habitat of a few wild animals and a family of jackal is watching us curiously.
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Soon after we reach the Shawnee, a tug that was run ashore in a failed effort to claim insurance money.
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The trail leads along Lange Wand towards sandwich camp but the tide is against us and we have to go over the dunes to reach our destination.
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We set up our last camp on this trip and have a nice social get together at the campfire.
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Friday 13th May

Postby V51JP » Wed May 18, 2011 8:39 pm

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Our adventure is nearing its end and the mood in camp is not as happy as the other mornings, maybe it’s the mist, maybe it’s the knowing that it’s the last day. We pack up, have breakfast and leave for Walfish. The Kuiseb River is in full flood and is filling up the plains west of the beach. It feels kind of funny driving with the floodplains to the right and the ocean to the left. Soon the kuiseb will find a spot to break through and access to sandwich will be very difficult for a while.
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At paaltjies we inflate our tyres and Len leads our convoy into town. He takes us to a nice restaurant behind the yacht club where we have a final lunch together. We hand the radios back and everyone departs on their way, to new adventures! Only the two Jeeps and the two guide cruisers did not need to be pulled out.
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Re: Namibia Dune and Desert Adventure

Postby ZS6UD » Thu May 19, 2011 8:56 am

Thank you for going to the trouble of sharing this wonderfull experience with us!!
I enjoyed every moment of reading it!!
Great stuff.
Cheers
Dave D
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Re: Namibia Dune and Desert Adventure

Postby v51pj » Thu May 19, 2011 4:59 pm

i could taste bthe sand in my mouth when the wind blow and smell the mist over the sand leaving a damp trail

thanks Werner for sharing this with us
history came alive again

de v51pj
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Re: Namibia Dune and Desert Adventure

Postby V51Q » Thu May 19, 2011 9:41 pm

WOW
Echt SUPER MEGA COOL.
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