go! Namibia - - PERFECT DAY -

Namibia’s most iconic post­card must be the Namib Desert’s red dunes. This im­age lures peo­ple from around the world to a tiny dot on the map called Ses­riem. From here you can ac­cess the gi­ant dunes near Sos­susvlei. Ac­cord­ing to there are three things any first-time vis­i­tor should do: climb Dune 45 at sun­rise, ex­plore Ses­riem Canyon at mid­day and lose your­self in Dead Vlei at sun­set.

5.30 am.

The gate is open and we fol­low the tar road to­wards the dunes. The tar lasts for 70 km and ends at a car park a few kilo­me­tres from Sos­susvlei and Dead Vlei.

From this car park, how­ever, you need a 4x4 ve­hi­cle to ne­go­ti­ate the sandy track that leads to Sos­susvlei. But we’re not go­ing that far to­day – morn­ings are for Dune 45, which is 45 km from Ses­riem, hence its name.

5.48 am.

Dawn ar­rives in shades of or­ange fad­ing to deep blue on the east­ern hori­zon. We stop to take some pho­tos.

6.20 am.

The sun is up now and

Ses­riem Canyon

8.12 am.

We head up the dune. Thanks to the cool weather the stream of dune climbers has not abated. Half­way up we en­counter an awestruck man. Frank Juckes is a dairy farmer from Glouces­ter­shire in Eng­land. “Isn’t it amaz­ing?” he says, in part to his wife Mary and in part to me, but mostly di­rected at the land­scape around him.

We’re spoilt in south­ern Africa – Sos­sus is in our back yard. But for some­one from Glouces­ter­shire, this is an­other planet. We watch adults play­ing in the sand with child­like won­der. Some seem to be redis­cov­er­ing the joys of walk­ing bare­foot in what re­ally is a gi­ant sand­pit.

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