Saturday, July 23, 2016


July 21 and 22
Greetings faithful blog readers!
The drive from swakopmund to sossusvlei went pretty smoothly (literally-the gravel was mostly smooth). We stopped in solitare for some apple pie.

Our lodge had beautiful views and oryx drinking near our chalet. View from our porch: 

At night, it was a great setting for star gazing! The first night, we tried to get to bed early before our 4am wake up call. We were up early for a very special reason: 
Hot air ballooning! A first for both of us.we flew over the dunes and mountains in the Namib desert. We had such great wind conditions that we were able to go twice as high as normal flights (over 4200 feet). The sun was rising, and the views were stunning. It was better than we even imagined. 

Afterward, we had a champagne brunch near our landing site. It was truly a special morning. I was so glad we did it. 

Then, we were able to tour little bugs, an elementary school the balloon company started. We were able to donate and purchase souvenirs made by the mothers of the students (the school pays them for their work, and the profits from sales all go back to the school). The school provides a free education to all students, runs on solar power, and has a hydroponic vegetable garden. I'm in awe of the way every resource is utilized to maximum efficiency here: it's really inspiring. Even the sewing machines for making the crafts to sell were solar powered. 

That afternoon, we drove through sossusvlei, including 4 kilometers on sand, to get to deadvlei dunes. We then walked up the dune to the salt pan. I'm here to tell you that walking in sand is hard as heck! It was also hot--too hot for even our lightest morning layers, but we made it. 

After we got back to the lodge, we were exhausted. We showered and napped before dinner, then went to bed early after dinner. It was quite a day! 

And, we had another 6 hour drive ahead! More soon. 

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