We left in the open vehicle at 4am for the drive to Sossusvlei, arriving before sunrise at around 5:30am. As the first ones there, we had the place to ourselves. In fact, by staying at the lodge, we are actually inside the park, which allows us to come and go as we please, whereas the campground guests can only enter an hour before sunrise and the main gates only open at sunrise. This is very helpful, as we were basically done shooting by the time most tourists arrive at Sossusvlei.
Hayo and myself climbed up the back way to the top of the dune (instead of climbing on the ridge), which was definitely the more difficult way up! Marsel has some photos of us climbing, which I’ll have to get.
After the drive back, it was lunch followed by an afternoon siesta. It was a scorching hot day (must have been 35 degrees Celsius or hotter). A quick dip in the pool, then off to a canyon (this time in golf carts), as it was only five minutes from the lodge. Down in the canyon the cool air was refreshing, with very interesting rock formations and layers. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Hartebeest (an african grassland antelope, named for it’s horns which form a heart) was the main course for dinner (excellent again), I took a few night shots, setup a star trail, then off to bed. Some of the group is returning to Deadvlei the next morning, but I decided I was too tired and had better sleep in if I’m to survive the rest of the trip. We joke that “I can’t believe I’m paying to be tortured” with all the really early mornings and late nights.