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The train might be late today...


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AKChui

As our landscape photography workshop group was leaving Luderitz, Namibia, I noticed these railroad tracks disappearing into a sand dune. Naturally, I yelled “stop”—the image was just too full of irony to pass by, but only one other participant thought it was worth photographing—and ran the several hundred feet from the road to take the photograph. (I may have a Wanted poster hanging in Namibia, since I don’t know how far off the road the Diamond Exclusion Zone starts!)

 

Luderitz_Q6A0992pp.jpg

 

Relentless winds off the Atlantic Ocean during the previous several weeks had caused this Namib Desert sand dune to travel across the tracks; these narrow gauge tracks are not used regularly, so I don’t know when last they were cleaned.

 

The track cleaning crew was probably a kilometer away, clearing sand off the tracks with heavy equipment; this prompted our driver to say “they must be expecting a train today”…

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kittykat23uk

Wow! Cool photo!

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offshorebirder

Good eye, @@AKChui!

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Atravelynn

Photo and caption - a perfect match!

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Peter Connan

Magnificent spot and photo Martin!

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wilddog

Amazing.

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optig

Awesome

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What a great picture. I wonder if trains ever get actually stuck in sand covering tracks (simmilar to getting stuck on snow covered tracks).

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janzin

Fabulous image! I can't imagine why anyone would NOT want to shoot it!

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AKChui

Thanks, everyone, for your likes and kind comments! @@janzin, I also can’t imagine why every tourist on the route doesn’t stop for this shot. It is obvious, and right next to the main highway. My initial reason for stopping was just the humor of it, but when I got to the tracks, the graphic composition amazed me.

 

A general comment on specialized tours/workshops: Too often you don’t get a chance to “smell the roses”, because you have a long drive to capture the next iconic location/shot, so end up hurriedly bypassing many interesting sights along the way. I really can’t criticize the organizers—they have their schedule to follow in order to produce the greatest results within a specified time frame—but this experience has reinforced the idea that my next Namibia tour will be a self-drive. Hopefully next May/June.

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xelas

Nice shot, @@AKChui ! Same can be found near Swakoipmund where they are now planning to move the tracks for the fourth time as sand dunes are moving at 60 cm/year ... in the wrong direction.

 

May is a perfect time for any photographer to visit Namibia. The skies are clear, there are still options for a quick but fierce thunderstorm, and wildlife is out. We have just returned from our third visit, all in same period end of April beginning of May.

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