”Unexpected but truly beautiful”

I was on a trip in Namibia, which is already the most scenic country I’ve crossed, spending a night at a lodge called Klein-Aus Vista, on my way to Sossusvlei.

The plan was to go to see the wild horses of the desert, before taking the main road to the Namib Desert, when my hosts mentioned an alternative road, the D707… And I’m still grateful for that !

I left Klein-Aus after a big Namibian breakfast and followed the more of less straight C13 road northwards. The road crosses the vast Nelsip plain, with the red Koichab dunes to the West and the Rooirand mountains to the East.

Tiras-mountains-road-Namibia

The D707 turns west shortly after, first over a little pass with quiver trees, to then follow the half circle formed between the Koichab dunes and Tiras mountains. There was quite some game to be seen, mainly springbok, oryx and ostrich, as well as the occasional flower. But it’s the landscape with the folly of earth colours that really struck me.

The rugged Tiras mountains are of a very dark plum colour: most Koichab dunes feature the same too-orange-to-be-true ochre as Sossuvlei, whereas other dunes are beige.

The plains in between are covered in yellow grass, dotted with the occasional green camel thorn tree. And all this under a steel blue sky.

Just mountains, grass and dunes may sound monotonous, but I believe I stopped every 500 m because the view was ever more breath-taking than before…

The pictures I took are meaningless compared to my memories of the places depicted. My favourite place is a big plain I called «the arena», close to the border of Karas and Hardap regions. To the left, bordering the road is a sea of red dunes and to the right an arena – like plain with round anthill – like mountains in a semi-cercle.

The mountains seemed to hover the plain, in the heat, and a few trees to their feet flickered like mirage.

Was it my mind playing some game on me ?

Could be, all I do know is that, the D707 is truly beautiful!

By Cécile Castoldi

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