Once back from Walvis Bay, we caught up on email and took a walk around town. Unfortunately, most stores close at 2:00, so we focused on window shopping. The grey fog that enveloped us all morning disappeared, showing a beautiful blue sky.
We caught up on email and then went out to dinner at a pub recommended by Chico, our guide. It was a busy place, but all nine of us were able to get a table and get to know one another better. The menu also offered us some very interesting choices.
Ernie and Hi are the world traveler winners, although many of the others are very well traveled. Ernie is a retired hematologist oncologist from the Philippines and Hi is also retired and from Vietnam. They met in Vietnam and have been to over 125 countries. Karen is traveling without her husband and this is her 19th Smart-our with her next one in October. And that does not include the other trips she has experienced, visiting over 100 countries. The two other couples are neighbors in Southern California and have also traveled extensively, altogether and separately. They are a therapist, business owner, aeronautical engineer and teacher. All are a lot of fun.
We all met in the lobby at 8:00 for the 5-1/2 hour drive to Sossuvlei (kind of like sauce souffle). The first hour was nice and smooth on paved road, with fairly nondescript sandy, flat landscape. Hoping to see some wildlife, we continued onto the dirt road, for many hours and were not disappointed.
As the bus jostled on the dusty road, we had a very uncommon close up of
mountain zebras, a mom and baby, grazing with a half a dozen horses. They were just on the other side of a fence along the road and Chico said that in twenty years, he hadn’t seen them so close. The male zebra was guarding from a nearby hill. We saw many ostriches, too and other animals who were too far away to see clearly.
After a delicious lunch along the way, we finally arrived at our lodge. Seeing the topography change from flat sand, to acacia trees, to mountains and deep ravines, the lodge was an amazing oasis. The sand-colored buildings are modern and each guest has their own building, with a huge tub and shower in the generous bathroom, a front porch overlooking the desert and mountains and stunning views.
We checked our accommodations and did some
exploring before we met at 5:00 for our sunset nature drive. Seated in a ten passenger Jeep, we drove into the desert and saw more ostriches, some springboks and an oryx. How amazing! A couple of our group are real photographers, with 600mm lenses and video cameras, so they were particularly delighted.
We pulled over at the base of the mountains and John, our driver, opened up a
table, laid out a tablecloth, champagne glasses, beer,
The sun set and we boarded the Jeep with plenty of blankets to keep us warm as we returned to the Lodge. A quick freshening and then dinner outside on the patio.
The buffet service had almost everything you could imagine to eat, plus many items you wouldn’t imagine, including kudu, impala, wildebeast, worthog, zebra, as well as klingfish, hake and tuna. I was too stuffed to eat much, thank goodness! Unfortunately, wifi is only available in the reception area, so every chair is filled with people checking in. I hate to let a day go by without writing, or else I will forget important details.
Early tomorrow, we are meeting for a ride to the incredible red sand dunes, including the one called “45.” It isn’t even 9:00 and a hot soaking tub is calling me!