Africa, my final installment: tusked giants, seals take over and my life defying sand boarding adventure!

This is part 2 of my adventures in Africa. Click here for part 1.

After our 5 exciting days at the Okonjima Nature Reserve, we left on a 5 day safari led by guides from the Ultimate Safari company, during which I spent 5 days in this jeep, with fellow bridesmaids (and a husband) and our fantastic guide, Vincent.

We can ignore my awkward posture and tan lines! lol

From Okonjima, we drove for 7 hours…much of it on the most unbelievably bumpy gravel roads. Although, from this vantage point, it really doesn’t look that bad but, trust me, it was! I’m convinced Vincent will have brain damage for spending so much of his life driving these roads!

But it was well worth it. Deep into Damaraland, we arrived at what I can only describe as paradise. No wifi connection, no air or noise pollution…and just absolute beauty.

Sophie (my trip roommate) and I shared this gorgeous hut (the interior was luxurious like at Okonjima)

img_2175 And enjoyed this view from our balconyimg_2158 And this was the lodge’s pool…seriously, doesn’t it look like a picture from a brochure and then when you get there it never really looks like that?! But I took this pic with my iPhone!!img_2164 This was my view as I sipped on an afternoon beverage near the pool…img_2156 But seriously, everywhere you looked it was picturesque…and when the sun started to set…img_2166 Tell me this isn’t the most beautiful sunset ever!!??img_2013Fun fact about this area…the native language is the one where you make clicking sounds with your tongue!! The waiters were always trying to teach us new words…I failed miserably! lol

We were here for 2 days and we saw petroglyphs that are so numerous in this area that they have been given World Heritage accreditation. They were done by bushman over 3000 years ago.

img_2140 And visited an area called the Organ Pipes…dolerite rock…result of volcanic rock heating and then cooling.img_2191And then we came across a herd of these!!!!!!

img_2093 img_2101 img_2112They are…majestic…graceful…powerful…UNREAL.

From Damarland, we drove another 7 hours…TO THE OCEAN!!!!

And we saw seals…like I. HAVE. NEVER. SEEN. BEFORE.

Because the Altantic ocean is so cold here (strong current from Antarctica) they have no predators…so there are literally hundreds of thousands of seals here.

img_2268 And they are such hams!!!img_2262 And opinionatedimg_2250 And living a care-free life!img_2230

And proud of it!!img_2225But I wish I could share with you the stench. OMG. I would rather swim in a septic tank than smell them again!!!

From here we stayed in Swakopmund for 2 days – a lovely town on the coast and again, our accommodations were fabulous!

img_2276While in Swakopmund we did a lot of interesting things but the most memorable was probably the sand boarding!!

I should explain that while we were right at the ocean, literally, next to the ocean, is the Namib desert. It’s the weirdest thing. But, apparently, with the Atlantic being so cold, and cloud formation generally going from east to west…it’s VERY dry on this west coast of Africa.

The desert is beautiful – rolling sand dunes as far as the eye can see. My pics just don’t do it justice.

img_2507 img_2396So, if you can’t toboggan down a snow hill, you might as well sand board down the dunes!

My “instructor” (he basically brought my board to the edge, pushed me off and said “Keep the board up at the front otherwise you get a face full of sand and you get thrown!!”) waxing my “board” (a piece of plywood).

Here is a video of me sand boarding!

And a still shot from it:

While at times I really thought I might die, the HARDEST PART BY FAR was climbing back up the dunes. There is a reason why we have chair lifts on snow hills!!!! This is me resting to catch my breath…this would happen like every 10 steps! lol

From Swakopmund, we drove 5 hours to the capitol, Windhoek for our final night before boarding a plane to start our LONG journey home.

What an amazing adventure it was. I will always be so grateful for being given this opportunity and being fortunate enough to be able to take it.

Next week, I’ll start posting about reality: life with Abby, winter running, and my 2017 goals!

Happy Friday!!!

7 thoughts on “Africa, my final installment: tusked giants, seals take over and my life defying sand boarding adventure!

  1. Just a Running Chick

    How did you ever step on the plane to go back home? This looks so divine! I am in awe!

    On another note – my brother lived in Maui for 15 years. Maui has desert (yes, it’s next to the ocean, but developed), rain forest, mountains, and sometimes even snow! Mother Earth is amazing, isn’t she?

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  2. Pingback: Saturday, January 28 | Just Another Running Chick

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