Continued from last week. (See last weeks story here.)
When walking in the desert one should take
care not to get lost. One dune looks
just like the next, and during summer afternoons the sand can be extremely hot.
I have been burnt on occasion, when sand spills into my shoes. The path to
Sossusvlei is marked along the riverbed with wooden posts and follows the
bone dry river in a wide sweep to the north.
When I am with a small group or alone, I like to take the shortcut over the dunes,
taking care to observe my bearings and always starting well before sunrise
in the cold night, when the moisture in the sand is sometimes frozen.
Usually you will discover something, like pieces of ostrich egg shell,
beautiful wind carved stones or the bones of some unfortunate antelope.
One day I was walking alone admiring a spectacular sunset, when, looking
over the crest of a dune, there was a family of Gemsbok.
They immediately took flight straight away from me and disappeared
over the next rise.
I ran after them as fast as I could, hoping to get another glimpse
before they vanished into the desert. Reaching the crest of the next dune
I saw the little family on the far side of the valley, cleverly protecting their young.
Daddy was waiting for me quite close, directly ahead.
Mommy and Junior were over on the right, just sneaking away out of sight.
I was supposed to follow Daddy and not notice the others!
It was so cleverly done, that I played along and followed the male,
until he vanished over the horizon.
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