Brandberg White Lady Lodge

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The biggest sand dune in the world

After another leisurely breakfast, we set of from Tsauchab River Camp towards the sand dunes. But before we go there let’s talk about that breakfast. It was buffet style with a cooked segment to order. Nothing special about that as a concept. This however was different. The whole of the buffet was laid out on our huge table for two. Orange juice in a jug, fruit salad in a glass, a selection of cereals, a big bowl of yogurt, and a plate of cold meats and cheese. Scrambled eggs and bacon brought latter. Even the scrambled egg was served as a cylinder shape. All very pleasant. Still not quite ready to leave though. Time for a lovely glass of homemade lemonade sat out on the veranda looking at the green lawns and pool, watching the birds fly around, gathering food for their chicks. It was only after a while that I realised that I had parked myself on a lounger immediately under a cup on the wall that had been requisitioned as a nest. Spoke to Nikky, our host, about how we appreciated the grit around the chalet being raked and brushed smooth every day. In the morning you can see the footprints of all the nocturnal visitors. Not all of them announced their presence, most came and went silently in the night with only the tracks to tell of their presence. Not so the Kudu, a loud staccato, barking type noise woke me up in the night. We were told before bed that if we were lucky we might get a visit, and we did. I didn’t wake up enough to try to see it. Before breakfast, as we woke up there were a pair of birds calling to each other across the dried up river bed. First a load call close by, followed by a feint reply. A wonderful start to the day, out in the secluded wilderness of the desert. Whilst eating our splendid breakfast, we were treated to the sight of a woodpecker which had made is whole in tree near the window. Then it disappeared into the hole. Into the car and down the drive festooned with art sculptures and on to the road again. TRC to S Now we know we are in Namibia. Yesterday there was tar roads and traffic. We drove through Windhoek and there were other towns on the way. Traffic lights and speed cameras, taxies and buses. All the attributes of a conurbation. Today, we start in the wilderness, by a dry river bank, and end the day by another dry river bank, which perhaps flows, on the surface, every four years. Vast distances, all on gravel roads, except for the S Park. There are magnificent mountain ranges on each side of the road, and very occasionally, one of them gets in the way of the straight road is forced to have a bend or two. In England, we would be stopping to take photos of such sights every few minutes. Here it quickly becomes the norm, or you don’t get to the planned destination, and you miss out on something even more spectacular. The roads are wide and generally straight, with little traffic, so in European terms there is less to concentrate on. However, the surface is continually changing, which puts the concentration back up there plus some. Concentrating so much makes it easy to miss things off the road field of vision. One trick to help with this is to look at other vehicles if they are stopped. Why have they stopped? What have they seen? On instance of this was a heard of Onyx resting under a tree. We quickly landed the car, and turned back. Sharp breaking on corrugated roads is generally to be avoided. It looked not unlike a farm in England, cattle around food with a water trough nearby. However, it was in the desert and the cows were Onyx. Just lazing in the shade of a big tree. As we watched they all got up and dispersed, back to the task of grazing in the bright sunshine. S We arrived at the main gate and were somewhat confused when asked where we wanted to go. Were there options? What were the options? We just wanted to find out about the national park. Apparently we wanted to go to reception. Registration and name noted and we were allowed through the gate, and 100m later arrived at reception. There was an adjoining camp site shop. A big fridge of water provided us with 2 five litre and 2 one litre bottles of water for a reasonable price. The permit to the park was purchased at reception, and we were ready to explore with a rudimentary map in hand. First though, the task of eating the ice creams bought from the shop. Ice creams eaten in the car under a tree for the welcome shade. There are birds in the tree so of course the cameras come out. Right, trip to the loo, adjacent to the reception and café, and we are actually on our way. We did not make 200m before it was time to stop again. To our right was the campsite. To our surprise there in the middle of all of the human activity of a campsite was a solitary Onyx just wandering through.

The Cape of Good Hope

Here we are on 27th October 2016, our first full day in Cape Town. We have spent months longing for this day. It has arrived and the Sun is shining with hardly a cloud in the sky. It is warm, just into the 20s C. What a great start. So much to see and do in such a short time. 

Read more: The Cape of Good Hope

Oyster Box Guesthouse

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Table Mountain

Today's plan was to start with the assent of Table Mountain, by cable car. That plan was thwarted as when we looked at the mountain from our balcony the top was covered in swirling white cloud. Every other morning we get up and look out to see a clear top. After breakfast we ask at reception about the chances it might clear. Worse news! Not only is visibility described as intermittent, but the cable car is closed due to strong winds. Back in our room, making full use of the free wi-fi, the local weather forecast indicates a wind speed of 34km/h with it only falling to 29km/h at 5pm. Perhaps we should have tackled Table Mountain earlier in our stay!

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