Sleeping Baboon

Climbing rocky hills has been an activity I have been enguaged in most of my life.  I love climbing hills for many reasons, and I have spent a lot of my hill time alone.  When the chance comes to climb a hill with someone else, it is a treat.

This year I have been in Swakopmund for the first half, with no hills to climb, and I have gotten into the worst shape of my life.  It has been great to be back here at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, and have the chance to do a little walking. 

Since I have been busy basically every day since getting here on the 7th.  I have done some walking with guests and doing a few exercises, but I am certainly not in great shape.

However, Frank, the resident astronomer, wanted to do the mountain called Sleeping Baboon (I think others call it Nubib Peak, but it's not the highest point of the Nubib Mountains.)  Anyway, I said I would, but could only go after my guests departed. 

We drove out in my Land Rover and parked on the main road.  Our starting elevation was 933 meters (3062 feet.)  The first bit of the walk we jump over a fence and walk on our neighbors property.  It is slow going, as it is very rocky and there are no clear paths.  After some distance we take a ravine up the mountain and start our climb.

Towards the top the ravine heads to a shear cliff, and we move over to a very steep section with loose rocks to the right of the ravine.  Then traverse a narrow area over the top of the cliffs before another steep rocky section.  Finanlly we got to the area where we had to climb a section not to far from the top.  My lack of condition was getting obvious to me and I decided not to climb the steep bit.  Frank climbed a little higher, but didn't want to go to the top alone.  It gets very steep towards the top.  So we made that our turning point.  We had got up in about two and a half hours and reached an elevation of 1618 meters,

On our way down we were getting a bit low on water.  Despite being in the cooler time of the year, the temprature was hot (over 30 degrees Celcius.)  We made our way down.  I saw some Augar Buzards flying overhead...wonderful birds.  At one point a falcon (I guess Lanner, but I had no binoculars) was working the gorge back and forth. 

Further down we started to hear Rosy Faced Lovebirds.  Following the call we saw a huge sociable weaver's nest with lots of Lovebirds going in and out.  At times in these dry areas the lovebirds use the sociable weaver's nests as both roosts and for breeding. 

We reached the bottome of the mountain and started the long walk back to the vehicle.  By this point we were not talking much, just plodding.  At one point a wip snake (or Karoo Sand Snake) shot out from a grass clump right from between my feet.  They are great little snakes.

We made it back to the vehicle.  My legs were shot (tired) and Frank was a bit dehydrated.  Silly, really.  But it was such a nice walk.  We got back and drank lots of fluids and rested up.  Today I can feel it in all my muscles.  It's a good feeling.
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