We take obnoxious pride un having ridden on or in everything – hot air balloons, the Concorde, tanks, hydrofoils, camels, cave rafting, etc. Quad biking on the Namibian dunes was a must try (we have deleted sky diving and bungee jumping from our “must try” list, however!)
The day started badly with a Gilles Duceppe moment (only Canadians will understand) – Liz and Dick in hairnets – apparently concern about baldness germs infecting an otherwise hirsute gene pool
We then mounted our bikes and our trusty guide Ernst (who was wonderful) set off across the dunes.
Liz’s machine bore the scars of a previous rider
How were we to know? Duneriding is incredibly fun. Can’t take too many photos on the way but it is just too much fun
But it gets better. Ernst – being no fool – asks what we’re interested in. We explain we like reptiles – snakes? Yes! – off we go.
Suddenly Ernst leaps off his bike and starts digging by hand into a dune,. He finally unearths (unsands?) a semi transparent gecko who was literally swimming through the sand. The creature is magical – huge eyes, semi transparent skin, obliviously unafraid; what does it eat? Drink? The dunes are as sterile as an OR … or so we thought
The process repeats itself. This time Ernest disappears into a large hole in the dunes to recover a shovel nosed lizard, How he sees these creatures at this distance is a mystery, let alone catching them. We are enchanted
Our enthusiasm for the two lizards is a challenge to Ernst. What else would we like to see> Snakes? Sidewinders? Yes, yes, yes!
3 sidewinders are quickly found in the sparse vegetation. They are small – 8”-9” – but venomous. Ernst describes a bite as painful, but not debilitating. We take his word for the experience
Best of all, they move across the sand with the classic sidewinder movement – see following video
On the way back we passed the horse graveyard. In the very early 1900’s, when the Germans were colonizing Namibia, they used a lot of horses. Those that didn’t survive the desert ended up here
On a cheerier note, we had much fun. It you ever want to do Namibian Dune Riding – find Ernst at Outback Orange in Swakopmund.