But all good things have to end and so we farewelled Swakopmund and our warm rooms and hot showers to keep heading south and inland.
The landscape was different from Desolation Valley and points north, though it was no less dry. The ground was now sandy, often with long dunes slowly marching across the terrain. We passed through the Badlands, rounded hills of shiny metamorphic rock deeply cut by ephemeral rivers, the valley floors only showing a few pools of still water. The Kuiseb Pass dropped down to its river valley and was crossed by a concrete causeway which would probably be drowned by any sizeable wash down the gorge.
An obligatory stop was the big sign on the road "Tropic of Capricorn" - we gathered under it for a group photo. We did notice an All Wheel Drive Club sticker on the sign left by one of the groups from the club last year!
Destination: dunes. At Solitaire, a little dusty village with a sign proclaiming 92 residents, there is a fuel station and a pie shop whose specialty is apple strudel - not something generally anticipated in regions hereabouts! The campground at Sesrium is the stop-off point for the celebrated dunes of the Namib-Nakluft National Park. Once the tents were set up (with more reluctance than usual - we were missing the guesthouse and its luxury) we set off on the hour's drive to the dune field for the sun set and have a sundowner or two while watching. As before on previous visits, the coloursof the dunes were sensational and the sky put on a spectacular show as well as the sun dropped behind the huge sandhills.
While most of the others rose at some ungodly and freezing hour to see the sun rise over the dunes, we decided to have a more leisurely morning and joined Linda, Mike, Dave and Barbara for some hot breakfast and coffee.