Over our 2015 time with Frikkie, we visited various areas in the Namib Desert which runs the length of Namibia on the west coast up into Angola. Each desert area is different and Frikkie took us deep into each one, explaining and showing the geology of the land. The journey is deep into the stone bones of the earth as it was forming itself 7 million years ago. We spent a whole day in the Spitzkoppe mountain range. Spitzkoppe, known as the Matterhorn of Namibia, contains a rock formation known as the “finger of god,” as seen in the above image. Frikkie knows this land. He and his brother Tas have walked and climbed and discovered things in this desert which only they know about. It is this knowledge which makes a “Frikkie tour” so much more than sight seeing. He takes you into the land and you feel you are journeying backwards to the most ancient times.
The adventure begins traveling on a gravel road. The largest peak from the left is the Spitzkoppe. Over the several hours we drive to it, we watch it become closer and its colors deepen.
Where there are goats, there are people. One of the culture groups of Namibia, the Damara, make their home in this desert land.
This handsome goat looks like he is modeling a white t-shirt.
We are closer now to Spitzkoppe (far right), but before we go up into the mountains, we visit the Damara settlement. The people here live very simply as the photos show, but they are not destitute. This area is their land and they are a proud people.
This hut , made of aluminum cans, provides a shelter from the hot sun and a place to rest for those who are tending road-side tables full of crystals and stones for tourists to buy.
This hut is made of sticks of dried wood. The Damara people make wind chimes using natural items, wood, dried melon shells, small bones. These make a soft wooden “clack” sound in the wind.
Frikkie showed us some of the services available to the people here including a school house for the children.
Heather poses outside the little camping reservation office. The huge stone is actually porous, you could roll it away. The tree is a Quiver tree so named because the Bushmen use its hollow dried out branches to hold their arrows. The black object on the rock is the skull of an antelope made into a mask.
Here’s Heather again with this beautiful Darmara woman and her children. We purchased crystals and stones from her. I want to say again, they dig and cut these stones from the rocks. They have not been been touched by a machine, only the human hand. Afterwards, when we were in town areas, I had no desire to go into stores which sold such stones most of which have been machine polished. Who would want to when you took them from the hand which lifted them with labor from the earth!
It was from the Darmara family pictured above that I acquired this piece of smoky topaz which you may have seen in another post about Namibia’s Crystal Matrix.
It is past time for lunch and Frikkie leads us up further up into the mountains where the campsites are. This whole area is managed by the Darmara including the camp sites.
Frikkie points out the geological features of the area. We are sweating because it is very hot in the sun. Imagine clambering all over these stones and boulders while you are listening to Frikkie telling you to notice this and that. The whole land opens up to you as he leads you through it.
He then takes us to the shade of a huge granite cliff where we munch on the picnic lunch which Tillie,his wife, has prepared for us. It is nice to have a bit of cool shade. We watch various desert inhabitants interested in joining us for the repast.
Up in a nearby tree, we spy a starling. Notice the bright orange eye.
A rock lizard eyes one of Tillie’s delicious meatballs.
This chestnut- winged bird is a Golden Breasted Bunting hoping for potato chip crumbs.
After lunch, the adventure continues. In the image above that smaller boulder to the left which is split off from the rock a bit is called the Finger of God.
Frikkie laughs and says let me show you the god of the mountain. Doesn’t this “god” look like an ancient Hittite warrior, a biblical patriarch? I think there is a lion’s face in the huge slope of stone beside him. Can you see the nose – a bit pointed -, the slanted eye, the muzzle? He has a mustache of greenery. The god looks over his shoulder at the lion. What is he saying to the lion?
This ancient, harsh, beautiful desert terrain is home to the most delicate of lives. Here Frikkie shows us a full grown tree growing from the boulder. This is as big as it will get. It is sturdy, clings with its roots, endures the heat and the desert’s cold nights.
Here is a fig tree growing on the side of the cliff. Notice the cleft out of which the trunk grows and the ledge to which the branches cling.
These delicate blossoms open themselves to the wind which grazes the soft petals with tiny sand grains and they nod like bells whose song is silence.
This photo says it all for me. A dried bush releases tiny winged seeds from a pod as light and brittle as rice paper. As I was taking the photo one of the white winged seeds blew away ion the wind. It is my soul, I said to myself and it was a though I had breathed it out into this vast deep space forever.