Looking for Dune 45

Thousands of tourists travel daily through the one road leading to the Deadvlei, eagerly wait to reach Dune 45, and take a photo of it.

Dune 45 is not the tallest, nor the largest or the oldest of the dunes. Among a whole desert, people await for that one in particular and for no particular reason. In fact, Dune 45 is just a dune someone decided was to be climbable by tourists, in an effort to preserve the oldest desert on Earth. Basically go here, do not go there.

The landscape while you drive through this part of the Namib is breathtaking and it is a ever-changing scene, with the light shaping the dunes in a different way at every hour, constantly transforming shadows and colours. 

So then why do we need to wait till Dune 45 to stop and enjoy? 

Is the power of "the souvenir", bringing home a proof that you actually saw "the monument", stronger than our ability to recognize beauty? Have we actually lost the capacity of being mesmerized by something that is not officially recognized? Are we so used to intense visual stimulation that even a unique landscape like the desert becomes boring? 

What if, by using the same intense visual stimulation tools, those dunes are turned into impossible landscapes, surreal mountains of cotton candy, or a crater of an imaginary volcano?

Would you still be looking for Dune 45, then?

 © 2023 Claudia Orsetti 

Freelance Photographer

Claudia

Orsetti