Welcome to  Stories from the Sands a five part weekly blogging series about my first expedition across the oldest desert in the world, the Namib. It's one of the most inhospitable places on earth, with one of the most dangerous coastlines in the world, scorching heat during the day and freezing sub-zero temperatures on a night where only the stars keep you company in the vast emptiness of the sands. It was truly a baptism by fire, no other moment has impacted my life more than those weeks, everything I've accomplished since then is a result of my time out there> So sit down and get ready to read about the adventure of a life time... 

After a quick breakfast and a hasty completion of last minute tasks, we set off out of base camp on our first adventure. What we saw that day none of us would ever forget. The day was hot and after a couple hours we were stumbling, tripping and walking over an endless sea of small rocks. The unrelenting desert sun beamed down upon us as we walked. Hours of scorching heat so hot sweat evaporated the instant its formed. The wind was just as relentless. It raged against us, ever jealous of the power of Solaris. Silence had befallen our usually rowdy group, everyone was just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other while keeping their heads down staring at their boots as one foot moved in front of the other;

Right foot, Left foot, Right foot, Left foot.

This was so repetitive that when the person in front of me stopped I walked straight into them my head colliding against their backpack. I shook my head clear and glanced up to see what the delay was. The person at the front had their hand out stretched, fist pointing to the heavens. Their other hand pointing straight forward. I follow his pointing hand with my eyes and see the whale that has caused us to stop in this ocean of rock. Its size was incredible, frighteningly majestic. The beast stood atop a small hill roughly 50 meters away, its skin was as dark as the black and grey rock below. Upon its head was a crown of deadly white horn. Every thing went silent as everyone stare in awe, frozen by the sight of it. Once the momentary paralysis wore off we forced our adrenaline fueled muscles into a cautious retreat even as it lowered its head towards us. It began to take steps towards, it took all my self control to not turn and run for it but that would potentially mean death for everyone. It's muscled legs moved forward and every step it took I could hear the thumping of my heart in my ears.

Right foot, thump. Left foot, thump. Right foot, thump. Left foot, thump.

In our retreat we crested a small hill that took us above our adversary’s poor eye sight. We slowly lowered our selves to our bellies and prayed for good fortune. After the most nerve racking minuets of my life the beast turns and moves of. We watch as it runs of into the distance, two youngsters in tow and then realization hit our Moby Dick was in fact a Black Rhino, one of the most endangered animals on the planet.

Written by Jonny Fairclough 

As always read more from Chris and I at https://candjactive.wordpress.com/

Published by C&J Active