The final stop – Cape Town

imageimageimageimageimageimageOur next stop was the Sesriem dunes. We arrived at around 1:30 and Rhod and I thought it would be a good idea to try and climb the dune “Big Daddy”. I’ll cut to the chase, this was not a good idea. On the way up it was hard work but manageable and we did have the most spectacular views of the dunes from where we stood. The way down was fun even though my ankles were on fire from the hot sand as I was wearing ankle socks so I had to stop half way to give them a break! However it was the walk back that killed me. We were walking across the sossusvlei plains which was basically a huge flat plain with some beautiful dead trees, and looking back on it, it really was spectacular where we were but by this point I had run out of water and all me and Rhod wanted was to get out of the sun which felt like it was frying off our skin. We got back to where the truck had left us and collapsed under a tree to try and cool down. I would highly recommend climbing Big Daddy if you happen to find yourself in Namibia, however learn from our mistakes and don’t do it in the heat of the day in the middle of summer! We also rose early the next day and climbed dune 42 where we sat at the top and watched the sunrise over the top of all of the dunes. We got the coolest views from up here and it was definitely worth the 5:30 get up.
More driving as we made our way over to fish River Canyon. This is known to be the African version of the Grand Canyon and we were not disappointed. We walked along the top and could see all the way across the canyon with the most beautiful river winding its way between all the rock faces. And using my A Level geography nerdy knowledge I was able to point out where an oxbow lake was forming :).
The next few days were mainly drive days as we made our way across our final border. South Africa. Mark told us that this border can be a nightmare and previously they have been stuck there for 6 hours as the police empty the entire truck before its allowed to pass through. However we had luck on our side and it took no more than an hour before we were whizzing through SA surrounded by scenery that looked out of a post card. There were huge mountains on either side of us but in the valley it was filled with bright green wine plantations that stretched as far as you could see. It looked like something out of a postcard with small streams winding their way around the greenery. It was spectacular! We stayed the night at a small campsite where Mark said he had a surprise for us! There was much debate about what it could be. But considering we were on a wine plantation there was really only one option… Wine tasting time! Now I can kind of tell the difference between all the different types but the main conclusion I came to was white wine is good red wine is not. But I felt very fancy sitting around sipping wine and eating cheese so was good fun!
Here was our final camping spot so we spent all morning scrubbing and cleaning our tents, getting rid of the vast amounts of mud that had accumulated over the past 4 months.
On or last drive day we drove all the way to Cape Agulhas which is on the very southern point of Africa ( where we are actually coming back to in a few days time!). Very pretty here and we got the obligatory photo with the Indian/Atlantic Ocean sigh before heading out trips final stop, Cape Town.
On the last day we had a huge truck clean, climbing inside all the lockers and scrubbing them all till they shined. Poppy and I then went shopping and finally got out of our muddy clothes which we have been living in for the past 17 weeks. Such a relief! In the afternoon poppy, Rhod, Rob, Adam and I went and did a clue quest room. Her you were basically locked in a room and in order to get out you have to solve the murder that has taken place. It was so much fun I have to start doing these when I get home! We didn’t actually manage to get out but we were only 1 clue away so I’m taking that as a win :). We had a final meal and Rhod did the best song about the trip. See link- ( https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CGH3I6Zw96s&feature=youtu.be ) It was really sad having to say goodbye to everyone as I’ve come to think of them all as one giant family and it going to be so strange not waking up and saying good morning to them everyday. I know that there is a high possibility I’ll never see any of them again which really sucks. However, Hopefully the next time I travel I can go and visit Alli and Brad, or Kathryn and Fraser in Canada or if I’m travelling to New Zealand I can visit Dougie and Helen, and I even know that I can visit Australia and know there are the friendly faces of Mick and Mark waiting over there. I’ve had the most amazing time on this trip and it’s an experience I’m never going to forget. Mark was the best tour leader I could have possibly asked for and he really made the trip extra special, especially at Christmas when it was hardest to be away from home. Mick is awesome and the best truck driver I’ve ever met and always keeps the truck in tip top condition, keeping us safe for 17 weeks from Cairo all the way down to Cape Town.

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