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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Namibia - 29 April, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Swakopmund (Resthouse campsite) S2241.096' E01431.652' 16 m
-  Sand boarding in the dunes
-  Quad biking in the dunes
Finish Swakopmund (Resthouse campsite) S2241.096' E01431.652' 16 m -

Total:

37,928 km

17,108 km

 

Weather: Early morning fog, then clear in the afternoon, sunny, and cool with a breeze.  Cold at night.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

Today will be a day full of excitement - it is jam-packed with adrenaline boosting activities.  After a lazy start to the day, we are picked up at 9:30 AM to go to the nearby sand dunes to go sand boarding.  After a half hour drive out to the dunes we unload and get ready.

 

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After a brief talk on what we will be doing, we grab our equipment - a piece of plywood, a helmet, elbow pads and gloves - and climb up the dunes.  This is the tough part of the morning - all the climbing on the sand.  It is tough and these dunes are over 120 meters high and the slope can be quite steep.  We are panting for breath by the time we get to the top and we no longer need our outer layers - the morning chill no longer bothers us.  We admire, through our heavy breathing, the fog that has rolled in over night.  With the sun still low in the sky, it has a slight pinkish tint from all the sand particles.

 

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When we reach the top we are given a final briefing and shown how it is done.  Then it is our turn.  One by one we lay on our sand boards and they push us off.  What a ride we have down the dunes - even on the first baby ride.  It is fantastic - the wind rushed by as the sand blurs into a reddish-brown surface that zips by as we go down.  But if you are not careful you will get a face and mouth full of sand.

 

Namibia01_Swakop_Sand13_Ride_Paolo_3222_Web.gif (150000 bytes)

There are six different rides that we do.  Five are on our own and one is tandem.  The last one is the wildest.  We go at speeds of up to 60-70 km per hour and there is a small jump in the middle and at the end.  If you take the last jump wrong, you will get a full face of sand - as Paolo shows us in this beauty of a face plant just at the end of his run.

 

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Jacqui does a great job and on her final run down that slope, she catches lots of air going over the first jump.  What a run.

 

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Lars is also having a great time and does the last ride three times.  He is exhausted climbing up the last time, but it is worth it.  We then have the last and final run back down to the vans.

 

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Once back at the vans they break out the drinks and food for some lunch.  While we have a drink (or two or three), we are trying to shake all the sand out form all the various openings in our head.  The ears are especially full of sand.  We all take advantage of the free flow of beer and drink a few too many.

 

We head back into town and take it easy for a few hours before our next adventure begins.  At 3:30 PM we are picked up once again and taken to the edge of the sand dunes.  Waiting for us there are our quad bikes.  And this looks exciting.  We put on our helmets and grab a bike.  

 

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After figuring out how to start them and to get the going, we go on a few practice turns around the parking lot.  Then we are off.  The next few hours are a crazy, high speed rush.  We zip off into the dunes and we go at high speed in and amongst the sand dunes.  We will zip up and around the sides of dunes in gravity-defying turns.  

 

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We had to descend a few dunes that seemed like they were vertical.  All they told us to do was make sure we did not brake - a bit counter intuitive, but makes sense when you think about it.  There was one flat spot where we could really open them up and zip along at high speeds - almost had a nasty wreck when we came upon some big bumps, but we were able to hold on.

 

As we headed back to the vans, the sun began to set.  It was wonderful to be out in the dunes with the last, glowing rays of the sun shining on the sand.  We get back to the vans and are reluctant to stop, but all good things must come to an end.

 

After we get back to our room, we spend quite some time in the shower.  There is so much sand to wash off.  At the end, the shower basin is filled with a couple of mini sand dunes.  We then rush off to a bar in the town to go see the videos that were taken of our day's activities.  Then off to dinner and an early finish to the day.

 

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