I am alone walking through the desert. I can feel the hot sun baking on my skin. There is no one and nothing in site. I can hear the wind howling and feel the sand blowing in my eyes. In the distance I see a group of springbok jump up and run away fast. I look around to see if a predator is chasing them- that’s when I realized I’m the predator that just scared them off.
I see a tiny beetle working hard to get out of the thick sand. I can hear birds singing and the larger crows hawking while swooping down in search of food.
I continue following the dried up riverbed. The desert is a harsh, cruel place and the things that live here must adapt in order to survive.
I’m slightly scared but also finding an amazing peace by being in such a remote place. Every step I take I am making sure to not step on a snake or scorpion. I know there are no predators here but im still checking my surroundings and aware of my every step.
In the distance I see a beautiful oryx at the top of the riverbed. His silhouette looks like something from National Geographic- phenomenal. I stop, pause and attempt to take a picture. My picture is horrific when I think of this memory and then see this picture. I’m in awe of this beauty and how surreal this creature looks. He’s tall, has black and white on his face and eyes to reflect the sun. He has two huge horns that could easily end my life! He doesn’t realize that he’s the one with the upper hand in this situation. I have my water bottle and cell phone with zero reception for my protection. Before I even get a chance to take a decent picture he vanishes into thin air. I only have a memory to paint the wonderful picture of this oryx.
As I turn around to head back to the lodge, I try to take in as much of the surroundings as possible. Will I ever be this close to nature again? I can finally run/hike on my own in the middle of Namibia safely! Is it truly safe? Are there hyenas stalking about? Can jackals kill a human? How are there not lions here? They are everywhere in Africa? These are just a few of the questions running around my mind as I’m trying to enjoy my hike.
I 100% love organic, natural experiences. While I feel most of what we expose the boys to has this, this particular experience felt very alone and off the beaten track (so to speak) . No one, cars, etc in sight. I’m truly alone with this harsh desert. I continue to follow the riverbed a bit longer. I realize it’s getting late, dark will be coming soon. I should get back before Paul sends out a search party- no way he would hike out here to find me! I climb back out of the riverbed and onto the grounds of the lodge. As I’m walking up, a kind man is the first human I’ve seen for the past hour and half. He asks me, ‘how was your hike?’ I replied, ‘amazing, I love the quiet and peacefulness it brings being in nature. ‘
As I get back to our hut ( not sure what to call it, not a hotel room ) I’m quickly snapped back into reality of Paul working and the Paul’s playing legos.