I know you have at least heard of Lawrence of Arabia.
We spent a few days in Swakopmund, a coastal town I would describe as “Lawrence of Arabia meets Bavaria.” The stark desert runs right up to the icy Atlantic ocean, with Swakopmund right in the middle.
One evening we set out on a mini adventure. Turning off the main highway, we saw signs for “Dune 7.” It sounded like the title of a SciFi movie, so naturally we had to check it out. The signs lead us right to the base of a massive sand dune at the edge of an even more massive desert. The Namib.
Geologists believe that the Namib is the oldest desert on the earth. In fact, it’s estimated to be between 55 and 80 million years old. I could nerd out on geology for hours…so I’ll save my energy for a geology themed post another time.
We parked Chico, took off our shoes, and began the steep climb. I’ve never felt sand so soft, almost like butter. It was just before sunset, so the temperature was just right for a grueling dune climb.
Maurice Jarre echoed in my head every step of the way.
By the time we made it to the top, the sun had just begun to dip into the horizon, and the silence that met us was humbling. Nothing but the sound of the wind whistling over the sand. We sat on the crest of Dune 7 and soaked up every moment of the brilliant sunset. As dusk settled in, we decided to head back down. John, James and I couldn’t stop laughing as we careened down the dune, taking giant strides the whole way to the bottom.
I wonder if T.E. Lawrence ever raced down a sand dune…