Continuing Part 4:
Sossusvlei to Swakopmund. Wife and I decided to leave Tsauchab early on the 31st Dec and head to Sossusvlei for the morning, meeting the rest at Swakop that afternoon.
My camera battery died halfway up Dune 45, so you will have to take my word that I climbed it
It was satisfying to see all the other '4x4's' getting stuck in the deep sand while we powered past them
Anyway the sand did take a toll on my fuel consumption as I again dropped below 6km/l (5.85km/l). We hit the road again through Solitaire for Swakop, and everything was going absolutely perfectly, when...
As we came through the end of Kuiseb Pass, we noticed two vehicles driving towards us: A rolled Hilux, and a Suzuki SJ140...
The two Landies had passed the Hilux a few km's after the Pass, heading the opposite direction, and all was well. The Suzuki, about 5km behind the Landies, came across the Hilux, on all four wheels, but clearly had just rolled. The single driver of the Toyota, a lady from Zambia, had lost control on one of the corners and flipped the Hilux 360 degrees, landing it on it's wheels again. It was fitted with a rooftop tent and that had obviously taken a lot of the brunt. They immediately checked the lady for injuries, but apart from a few scratches, she was ok. The vehicle had not spilled a drop of oil, and after a few calls to the insurance company, they authorised Charles to drive it to the nearest safe zone. We met them about 3km's from the scene on their way to a nearby camp.
We saw the scene on our way out of the pass and immediately deciphered what had happened. The Toyota had come around a negative camber right bend. The rear left tyre had clipped the soft outside sand and the over-correction skid marks zipped across the road to the opposite sand bank where the car had ramped into a Nitro Circus stunt deserving of an award. The scariest part was that a few more meters and the car would have rolled down into the Kuiseb Canyon!
We eventually made it through to Swakopmund, to Gecko Ridge. Being the 31st (still) and quite late in the afternoon, the few other campers at the resort were already out partying and enjoying the last few hours of 2016. We set up our tent, lit the braai, and were fast asleep by 11pm.
2017 awoke us, and we went to visit some friends in Walvis Bay for a quick morning coffee, which turned out to be lunch and a delicious braai. We got back to camp at 4pm and chilled with a few whiskey's before bed time.
On the 2nd January 2017, we went adventuring:
Quad bike riding on the dunes followed by sand boarding and go-karts,
We then ended the afternoon with the fascinating Living Desert Tour.
Finally we saw the horse and mule graveyard, from the early 1900's.... Over 1600 horses and 900 mules were shot and buried due to an unknown disease, which was eventually diagnosed as malnutrition. They were all shot in the skull and buried with their saddles and the rest of their gear. This is just one grave site:
The wind had uncovered all the bones as the dunes migrated over them..
End of part 4