"I will work today," I thought with determination when I awoke in my cute room at Dunedin Star Guest Lodge on the morning of my first full day in Swakopmund, Namibia.
And that lasted until I tried to find the "Out of Africa" coffee shop that I'd last been to in 2005. Gone...how long? A new coffee shop had replaced it, but more importantly, the flight-seeing outfitter on the corner had a sandwich board outside.
Ohhhh...there's a seat on a flight-seeing trip over Sossusvlei this afternoon.
I'd hunted for an elusive last-remaining (thus, discounted) seat for the entire month I'd last been in Swakopmund, some five years back. I'd been to Sossusvlei—which is an otherworldly, undulating mass of giant dunes that is really called Namib-Naukluft National Park—in 2001 with Shawn and the Crazy Kudu group, but I'd always wanted to see it from the sky.
Now was my chance, and on my first full day in town. This might not even happen again while I'm here, I thought. I went into the Bush Bird store, booked, and paid.
The German man behind the counter handed me a ticket, told me to come back at 2, and reminded me that mum was the word on the last-minute discounted tickets. Which, given that I'd been actively in the market for one, is kind of an open secret.
I was going over the dunes in a plane.