The beard was long and white and the hair long too but flowing loose. The face was burnt by the sun and an enormous love for the Namibe desert, where he had spent his childhood . He had been enchanted by the dunes, which looked to him like mountains of gold glittering in the distance. Samuel Aço is the main force behind the Centro de Estudos do Deserto (Centre for Desert Studies). This is an association in the heart of Namibe, in southern Angola, delving into the secrets of one of the country’s most inhospitable regions.