Intersecting the northern bank of the orange river, a dozen or so kilometres west of Vooilsdrif on the South African -Namibian border, are a number of small anonymous canyons that have remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years. They are, apart from a few scattered bushes and thorn trees, as barren as the face of Mars. Yet  are as beautiful and intriguing as they are empty and remote. In the early summer of 2015 I spent some unforgettable days hiking in absolute solitude these stunning untouched wonders and for that experience I will ever be grateful. The next three years I spent trying to recapture some of that sensation.