Monday, 2 March 2009

Some photos from RAW Namibia

Some photos from the last two days of the race, as we really started to penetrate Sossusvlei.

Day 4 - 50km stage
After passing through the 3rd and last water point on this stage we rounded a dune and landed in a dry river bed- cracked mud and all. We were heading West into the heart of Sossusvlei and towards Dune 45, where we would camp. From the waterpoint we had to exit the river and cross from the northern dunes to the southern dunes that line the valley. It's dry, hot and harsh terrain with loads of rocks underfoot that just radiate heat. As I started out of the river I saw these beautiful flowers. Loved the dead tree above the sand and the yellow and green below. I love my First Ascent hat. It's the best thing for these conditions. Got it for Abu Dhabi and now I wear it all the time.

Stage 4 finished on top of Dune 45. The previous photo with the flowers, near the last waterpoint for the stage, was taken in the vicinity of the far dune visible at the back of the photo, behind the cloud shadow. This was one of the hottest sections of the race. Crossing the valley I thought my radiator was going to pop. Lots of dead trees down there. Saw ostrich, gemsbok (oryx) and sprinkbok. I did a lot of negotiating with myself on this section; the deal was that if I ran to a certain dead tree I could reward myself with a bit of a walk... And the cycle would repeat over and over and over. My new mantra is "The more you run, the sooner you're done". Hahaha. Works well ;)

Beautiful evening light, looking at Dune 45, from our stage 4 overnight campsite. Absolutely stunning.

Stage 5 - 26km
Photo from the top of "Big Daddy". Superb dune to climb. This view looks across the end of the Sossusvlei valley. To my left is Dead Valley (not visible in this pic). The white parts are dry mud type terrain. Tourists, not runners, in the image. This was the shortest stage, but still took me 4h30 odd to run it. The finish was about 4km from here in the direction of the cluster of trees to the left of centre of the photo.

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