Frozen in Time – The Namib Desert

An Experience that really took my breath away was when Megan and I visited the Namib Desert, in Namibia. There are a number of Wandering Memories from this trip as it was absolutely incredible (our sandboarding one is already available here), but for this blog I would like to concentrate on the incredible Dead Marsh.

I wasn’t aware of this place before we were introduced to it but it is truly captivating. The dead marsh is known locally as Deadvlei; which I believe is a mix of Afrikaans and English. Essentially it is a white clay pan whereby, once upon a time, a river used to flood into. The river mixed with the sand made a marsh and allowed numerous thorn trees to grow and flourish. This has long since past, and now the water has dried up and the location has turned into clay.

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It’s completely hidden from site from the track, encased by some of the highest sand dunes in the world. If you were passing, you may not even know it was there.

Don’t let my poor explanation put you off, it’s truly captivating.

Honestly the shock you get once ascending one the dunes in order to gain access to the Deadvlei is quite something. The contrast of the bright orange dunes, the clear blue sky and the white clay is just incredible. It’s like something out of another world, a place that truly takes your breath away.

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What is truly captivating about this location is not only that it grabs you by surprise, but also the vision of a number of very old (500-600 years old) dead tress protruding from the clay. Their scorched black branches, denied the natural order of rotting, just sitting there frozen in time.

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If I am honest it’s a little eerie when you reach the pan, the mirage of the white clay shows itself as a dull grey, it’s quiet, lifeless and just feels like death has touched this place. I remember feeling a host of conflicting emotions and thoughts while visiting, from sadness and apprehensive to wander and contemplation.

Don’t let that put you off visiting, as when really do you visit a place that stirs up that much thought emotion…

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A priceless Wandering Memory


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