Most of our first week was spent on dirt/gravel roads of varying quality.
On our first full day we drove from Rehoboth to Sesriem. On the way the highlight was the Spreetshoogte Pass, which has enough grade that part of the dirt road was outfitted with pavers to provide more traction on the switchbacks. Coming from the east you start at the top and work your way down, so we stopped at the first viewpoint to enjoy my free cupcake and the views.
The next stop after the pass was the crossroads way station, Solitaire. We were pleased to discover that gas station took credit cards so we celebrated with a piece of the famous apple pie and a game pepper pie from MacGregor’s bakery.
From Solitaire to Sesriem was the most difficult stretch of our trip, as the road was extremely corrugated in spots, and traction control did have to kick in at times. We did see a truck that had lost control and flipped earlier in the day, a sobering reminder to remain careful.
After our days hiking and exploring in the desert we had a 4.5 hour drive up to Swakopmund. Once we passed Solitaire the road was somewhat better, and did have a few interesting sights including the Tropic of Capricorn and Kuiseb Pass.
After Kuiseb Pass the surroundings flattened out to a nearly featureless sandy landscape for about 2 hours, all the way to the coast… this was definitely the most boring part of our two weeks!
Much to our surprise and delight, the second half of the trip was mostly on paved roads!