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Old 10-13-2011, 10:36 AM   #181
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Sheldon
 
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Joined: May 2011
Location: Byron Bay Australia and Earth
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Solitaire to Sesriem and the Sossusvlei Lodge

Got up reasonaly early had all good intentions of leaving early to give me plenty of time to suss everything out and if need be come back here. Ended up getting chatting to a fella biker a German guy named Deitmar he wasnt riding this time as he had a stroke and wasnt up to it (hope that clutch hand comes good Deitmar)

Eventually left and rode the 70 odd k's to Sesriem ansd pulled into the servo, gassed up and talked to the young bloke and said ill go check out one of the lodges and if I have no luck ill be back to camp it in their camping ground. Rode over to Sossulsvlei Lodge not expecting any vacancies as on the blogs I had read people were booking 6 months in advance and it was always busy. Well not today turns out they have one room left got to love my luck hey but can only stay the two nights as its fully booked after that, well that fits my plans perfectly ill leave Sunday and head back towards Winhoek gives me two days to ride back there.

It a fair way back there about 360 k' and if the roads are anything like that c14 it would be a massive massive day to do it in one hit, look im sure you could if you were on one of those group tours they probably laugh at me for the distance im travelling each day but my neck and back has been giving me a bit of grief lately and its starting to hurt after only about 20 minutes on the bike so going all day is painfull hard work especially when it was on a road like yesterday where you have to concentrate fully. Im not here to run myself into the ground.

Hung around for awhile in my room and walked around the lodge its quite nice ended up in the pool for a swim then went over to the adventure side of it and book tomorrows ride into the dunes and while I was there decided to jump in an aeroplane and do the fly over this afternoon. So relaxed around the pool then went and got my camera gear organised and headed over to the office and waited with the others till the pilot turned up and we were off to the airport 5 minutes away. Ok its not and airport its a gravel road he takes off from but it the thought that counts.

Was a very rough start to the flight but it soon levelled out and was really nice to see all the different landscape from above it really is quite specatacular from up there. Was a 40 minute flight so took in alot of the scenary from around the area, fortuantly me being the only single i was in the front seat again which always seems to work out ok though I wouldnt of minded having to sit next to the German chikkibabe behind me either. l suppose I could of punched her boyfriend out but everyone is on holidays and in a good mood so I let it slide.

Got back and relaxed and basically it was 7ish so headed over to the restaraunt for dinner pretty nice spread dont ask me how much it cost ill find out when they give me the bill and maybe I wont even look then. So back in my room fairly early thought about having a few beers but got to get up at 5:30 am to go on this tour so might give it a rest, softy i know. Im just trying to save energy for when I do my sprint up the dune tomorrow its only 340 feet the hightest in the world. Hey Ive lashed out on this expensive place maybe ill just get a group of locals to carry me up the top and time how long it takes them.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:50 AM   #182
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Thought id break out the camping gear ha ha ha. The rooms at the Sossusvlei Lodge are half tent half brickwork and very nice, we had a little bit of wind so the tent was a tad noisey at times but nothing I thought you would complain about but as usual some did, you cant please everyone can you.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:55 AM   #183
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The view back to the mountains from out the back on of my bungalow. Was pretty nice.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:03 AM   #184
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Sunset overlooking Sossusvlei Lodge looking to the west and to the dunes.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:10 AM   #185
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my first view of the dunes was from the flyover always a nice way to see attractions if you got the bucks, i think it cost me about 80 Australian dollars or there abouts for the 40 minute flight.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:14 AM   #186
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Just a random photo from the plane.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:19 AM   #187
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Sossusvlei Dunes

The day started well woke up in plenty of time so rolled back over for a few more winks. Have been feeling a little crook the last few days I hope im not getting sick Ive gor a bit of riding ahead of me in the next few days.

When I met Chris the German guy with the group of Aussies last week he was coughing and spluttering everywhere and while we were at dinner I thought i better not catch the shit this bloke has, oh well it will just mean taking it easy if I do, that is funny I saw that couple on little step throughs that I saw in Swakopmund who are riding through Africa are in Victoria Falls already and I'm still only 300k's down south of Swakopmund and still havent got back to Windhoek to have my bike serviced, talk about a leisurely cruise. I must admit though it is a nice way to travel with no time constraints.

Got up and walked over to the reception met Jonathon our guide and we were off not long after. Was just me and a Dutch couple. I must admit I felt like crap but just sat in the back and took photos from the open four wheel drive we were in. I wasnt real social wish I was feeling better they seemed like really nice people.

Was pretty nice warmish and a nice sunrise coming up behind us as we travelled the 60k's to the dunes. Look if your going to go to the dunes pay the 630 rand, 80 bucks Aussie for the guided tour by the time you pay your 80 rand 10 bucks entry fee to the park, then the internal shuttle from Sossusvlei to the Deadvlei etc which is 115 rand 15 bucks, which by the way everyone was hanging around struggling badly in the heat waiting for one of the full trucks to come along with a seat available, you get taken to all the sites with explanations, breakfast is included and all you have to do is sit on your ass and take it all in. When I saw a few of the crew that had self driven either bogged in the last section of deep sand or holding their shuttle ticket out begging to get in all red and flustered looking like they were about to drop dead I knew I made the right decision to fork out the few extra bucks.

Some of the interesting stuff you wouldnt know if you just lobbed in there is that the dunes were actually created from sands from the Kalahari desert which over millions of years blew south down into the Orange river flowed into the ocean and then moved back up the coast and then were brought ashore by the currents and then were blown further inland by the strong south westerlies. The dunes come in from the Atlantic 55km's so it must of taken a hell of a long time. There full of all different metals, Jonathon showed us by running a magnet in the sand which was quite interesting, he did mention the minerals but in one ear out the other with that, I did get a couple but GOOGLE IT if your interested.

We arrived at Sossusvlei and walked up the dune, its not that high well 105 metres but just took my time taking photos its actually surprising how sore I still am in my back and chest when I do the physical stuff but harden up princess, I must admit im friggin sore as shit and not feeling 100% im actually struggling a little, well physically struggling, where im staying im not, its plush, I guess I could be at home sitting around whinging doing f(*k all but here I am bashing my way up the highest sand dune in the world in the deserts of Namibia. I try and remind myself that all the time and I have to it would be pretty easy to just go to hard basket and piss off back home. But not yet baby.

Went over to Deadvlei and walked another few k's through the sand to see f&*k all just where a river had once run and was now blocked by the dunes. I was just cruising im on African time already you know the one, you've got the clock ive got the time, so just walked back at my own pace without pushing my body to hard. From there we went to the Sesriem Canyon by this time id had enough walking so wasnt fussed to walk down into it even if it was only 90 feet. Met a nice couple breifly from Cairns he noticed my West Tigers hat (my favorite football team back home) and made a comment about the NRL. They had hired a campervan in Windhoek and were cruising around enjoying the Namibian deserts in a bit f comfort.

Got back to Sossusvlei Lodge walked into my room put the air conditioning on and relaxed, ok I had a nap. It was about 37 degrees celsius outside by now so pretty warmish. Hung in my room for awhile going through all the pictures and organising them then headed over to grab some dinner. Hey the spread they put on here is ok, Garlic snails go figure i thought why not give em a whirl, its dark out there and im near the fence i can just chuck em if there crap. Took a little from every section, tuna, some fish thing i cant remember, but the only one I went back for was the garlic snails they were pretty nice actually.

Didnt want to go over board on that section cause there was still the braai or barbie to have this time I had Zebra, I think it still had the whip marks in the thing it, was tough as shit , didnt get off on Zebra at all but got it down, just. Hit the sweets section by this time I was just being a pig which by the way I do so well and took a little from column A right down to column F and you guessed it couldnt get it all down oh well im full as a boot.

Anyway sore tired and out of here a great day to bad I had to push myself so hard to enjoy it.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:21 AM   #188
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Dune 45 on the way out to Sossusvlei.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #189
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Not to many animals out here so snapped this one when I saw a springbok grazing away by the dunes.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #190
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Had to take a few photos on the way up Sossusvlei, always a good excuse to stop for awhile lol
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:31 AM   #191
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A random sand dune photo I took while walking.Theres beautiful photos to be had everywhere.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:36 AM   #192
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I was getting pretty rooted by the time I got to Deadvlei as was everyone else by the looks on all the faces as I passed them. but stil got a nice picture.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:40 AM   #193
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Sesriem Canyon was the last stop of the tour.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:47 AM   #194
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Cooking my zebra up, wont be eating that again was tough as nails.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:50 AM   #195
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Sossusvlei to Solitaire

Got up reasonably early wasnt sure how far I was going to ride today but Windhoek is there in the sights over the next two days as the bikes due in on Tuesday morning so doesent really matter as long as I chew up a few k's. Had a pretty shitty nights sleep definately not as good as id like to be feeling, definatly picked up something. Pumped a few different drugs into me. Im actually trying to remember where I actually first started feeling crappy, oh well who cares. I suppose I could read through my blogs and see but nahh

As per standard took me awhile to actually leave being in no hurry and the regulation chat to a few people. Talked to Anastacia in the shop and we linked up on Facebook. Had a chat to the owner of the lodge, she wasnt happy cause the Australian Wallabies (rugby team) had just knocked South Africa out of the world cup, she and the pilot from yesterday were saying we has 16 men on the field with the ref on our side, I just said you shouldn't of been such cheap bastards then and paid him more but no your all just to tight.

Met Chantelle in the carpark shes a tour guide with one of the mobs and a bike rider, she has just bought herself a Suzuki DR 650, great choice for around here she will have heaps of fun touring on it in Namibia. She had bought it off some old dude who had all good intentions of going touring and it was sitting in his garage with 40k's on the clock and thats four zero k's not 40 thousand. It is a dream for alot of us to just get on the bike and go cruising but for one reason or another we just dont get around do it. I really do appreciate every moment that im able to do this even as sore as I am sometimes, im living that dream, theres no doubt about it im a very fortunate guy to be able to do what im doing all at my own pace and own comfort level.

Just as I was all kitted up and about to get on the bike another couple came up they were about to buy a 1200 gs and go touring two up so were interested to talk to me. They will have a ball im sure. They get the bike in Febuary so just around the corner hope it all works out for you guys, you will have the time of your life. Said my goodbyes jumped on the bike so basically pretty good time, only took about an hour or more to leave from the carpark. Rode over to the servo to get some water just in case the last thing you need over here is to break down somewhere and not have water. While I was there saw this hot chikkibabe with tatts all over her, thought hells bells what are you doing travelling with your dad lol ok it was probably her husband but worthy of being in the blog, ok we are in the deserts of Namibia its not over flowing with eye candy.

Finally I was on my way. I still felt pretty ordinary, not to bad but about 30 minutes in and my back and neck are giving me grief, but same as usual so just keep going, think im going to have to go bite the bullet and go to a quack and get some decent pain medicine, the shelf shit just isnt cutting the mustard at the moment. Ended up in Solitaire and thought why not ask if they have a room, ive only been riding an hour but means its only 220k's to Windhoek so grabbed a room and into the pool I go. What a tough day but all jokes aside im not real flash at the moment both pain wise and flu or whatever the f*&k it is.

Tomorrow Windhoek through apparently a nice mountain range ill find the name out later they say its an excellent ride with a few water crossings, going off how overstated people are on the roads are over here im sure that means theres a few puddles along the way.
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