After a great breakfast at the Windhoek Country Club's Kokerboom Restaurant, we're on the road heading south west to Sossusvlei. Just outside Windhoek city boundary we're obliged to stop at a vehicle weigh station. Our driver Bruce duly adheres to the rules, we're weighed, and surprisingly we're given the OK to go. We say surprisingly because Richard and Dawn have just carried and loaded guest luggage so we know how heavy the coach must be!
On route our first point of call is the small town of Rehoboth. Here it's a quick stop at the service station for anyone needing a restroom while Bruce and Uanee purchase top ups for their pay-as-you-go mobile phones. Soon after Rehoboth we hit gravel roads for the first time. In Namibia gravel roads are well graded and they are in particularly good condition this year due to the early dry season.
Just outside Klein Aub we stop to stretch legs and take photographs and then we head on towards our lunch venue, Solitaire. Suddenly we spot wildlife ahead, a single Hartmann's Mountain Zebra in the middle of the road. It also seems to be heading towards Solitaire. We slow up of course and keep our distance. The zebra continues to run in the middle of the road towards Solitaire. It does so for some distance before eventually veering off to the right, and we take our opportunity to pass. 15 minutes later we arrive at Solitaire which consists of a petrol station, store, bakery, small lodge and camp site. Lunch is served al fresco and the store and bakery does a good trade in snacks and provisions.
About an hour's drive after Solitaire we arrive at our new accommodations, Sossusvlei Lodge. The setting here is very special with magnificent views across the plains, and the mountains and sand dunes in the distance. The lodge consists of individual bedrooms which we describe as half posh tent and half brick built. They are very comfortable. There's a central reception, bar, swimming pool, restaurant, terrace and water tower. Around 5.15pm Dawn encourages six of our guests to race up the tower to see the sun set. The view from the top of the tower is stunning but sadly by the time they all made it to the top, they had missed the sun set by a couple of minutes. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.