We say goodbye to central Namibia’s vast desert with dunes that extend all the way to the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Here are a few last glimpses before heading off to a new and radically different landscape.
On our last evening, we see the sun setting in a very fast descent, glowing orange in a cloudless sky.
Early the next morning, the moon, barely visible through the clouds, sets over a long straight road through the desert.
The desert stretches out to distant mountains, with only a solitary tree to dot the landscape.
The animals we saw in Namibia were totally wild, not confined to game parks. The ubiquitous oryx is known as the national animal of Namibia.
And wild ostriches strut around proudly in their native habitat.
If I hadn’t accidentally locked the keys in the trunk of our rental car, we would have stayed in a resort down this beautiful country road in New South Wales. (Instead, we stayed in a small place across from a mechanic’s garage, where some nice people worked a day and a half to retrieve the key. There were complications with the way the car was built!) Experiencing the wide-open spaces where kangaroos are free to hop is something I greatly miss about being in Australia.
Here the beaver seems to be nonchalantly munching on a twig. But wait! Is a beaver, symbol of industriousness, ever nonchalant?
This is a custom home the beaver built or helped to build for the family. It’s located in a fine (for beavers, at least) southeastern Virginia neighborhood: The Great Dismal Swamp.
The stories about huge crocodiles in northern Australia are not myths! I was glad to be safe inside a boat when this giant reptile swished by so effortlessly. He seemed to be unconcerned about us, possibly even unaware of us. But was he?
Oh, and also a glacier! This inlet on the Antarctic peninsula has a variety of inviting features, despite the cold. Named Neko Harbor after a Scottish whaling vessel, it is now part of a whaling sanctuary which extends for millions of square miles around the continent.
I could call this shot “up a creek without a motor or a paddle” because that is really what happened! The Western Australian tour leader and captain of our tiny craft could not restart the engine after many, many tries over at least forty minutes. He begged some passers-by to lend us one of their oars (“just one, please”), but they declined. Meanwhile, I took this shot and the one below and eventually the motor started.
The agile rock wallaby, which lives in small colonies on rocky cliffs and ledges, is in a different genus from other wallabies more closely related to the kangaroos. There are many types of rock wallabies, and while technically not endangered, many populations have declined and are the subject of scientific study. Rock wallabies are nocturnal so it was a treat to see this one peeking out in broad daylight.
This entertaining bird, native to eastern Australia, is named for its unique call that ends with the sound of a cracking whip. Its cry stands out among all the other sounds in the forest.
The koala is the sleepiest animal I have ever seen–except for possibly the sloth. They sleep curled up in a ball in a eucalyptus tree most of the time. But they occasionally begin to yawn and stretch, and then they perk up and look around for a short time. A very short time! This koala had been relocated from its native home in eastern Australia to a national park in western Australian. The koala’s habitat has been encroached upon by development in the eastern areas and it’s existence is threatened, even though it is not officially listed as endangered. There are many Australians who love the koalas and others who are actively working to help them. However, there are a few who think of them similarly to the way some Americans see raccoons, a little pesky and not always nice.
Rather than scurrying around in the eastern Australian rainforest it calls home, this lizard spends most of its day perched on a tree trunk.