The Naukluft Lodge is about 60 kilometers from the gate to the Sossusvlei valley. Our guide Werner took us into his care at 6am. He was a typical ranger, gaunt, dark-skinned, very nice - and an accomplished guide. Finally not driving myself was a blessing. The local Werner told us a lot - and we had a thousand questions for him while we drove through the Namibian, cool night. Here and there along the wayside there were lights from the widely scattered farms of the Naukluft. Amazing how people can earn their income here.
The sun slowly climbed the sky - and broke out dark yellow over the Naukluft Mountains. Our jeep rattled through the Naukluft plateau. The gravel road was blocked in waves and formed countless small jump hills that rhythmically abused the jeep's suspension. A paradox in itself - the more vehicles on the trail, the more stuck waves disrupt the ride. Sometimes it's impossible to avoid the waves and the vehicle rattles and groans like I've never experienced before.
Arrived at the gate to Sossusvlei National Park, we paid the fee and drove into the park - again on sandy and gravel roads. Past numerous mountains, which now alternated more and more with the dunes. Actually, we were headed straight to the Namib. Actually, she came towards us - not we her. After all, every few years it eats up the next hill - driven by wind and storms. Each dune has a number as a designation.
After another 20 kilometers past fascinating landscapes, sometimes accompanied by springboks and oryxes, in between always a large herd of zebras, we came close to a large pool of water. This turned out to be a flat lake - a giant puddle - but impenetrable and only accessible on the edge. Werner parked the Toyota jeep at its edge. According to Werner, we could choose to either run very high on Big Daddy, on the highest dune in the world - or turn back beforehand. He would see us clearly from the camp near the jeep. At the foot of Big Mama, opposite Big Daddy, behind the giant puddle.
We chose the tough option and trudged uphill for an hour and a little more - through mercilessly deep desert sand. At 9 o'clock in the morning it wasn't scorching hot, but rather lukewarm. Gekkos accompanied us - their footprints were clearly visible. They flew over the sand while I rather crawled. Luk was faster but waited patiently for the old man. I had to take frequent breaks near the top. In the end I managed a maximum of 15 steps before the next break. The sand was so deep - and there was always a chance of tipping over to the left and right. Arriving at the top we could see the incredible scenery of the Namib for many kilometers and in all directions. On the right the giant puddle, straight ahead below us the petrified forest, on the left and behind us endless sand, formed by the wind in the most beautiful troughs. We cheered when we were on top and celebrated like we were heroes.
On the way back, we passed the 2000-year-old petrified forest, whose rainwater had been blocked by the advancing dune sand. The Giant Puddle was the next valley formed by rain in the Naukluft Mountains waiting to be silted up by the desert. The Sossusvlei valley moves a few centimeters to the east every year and devours life that arises elsewhere.
Original 30x10 cm
Frame: Nimes III antique black stained, approx. 90 mm
ash-grey-black, perfectly historically patinated, matt.
External format of the frame: 58 x 40 cm
Glass format/passepartout format: 42 x 24 cm
Passepartout 3375 soft white smooth museum quality, 3 mm, acid-free