Day 2 – Blown Away in The Desert


Carrying on from the 1st day we finished in this barren landscape of flat black rock. My first thoughts were “I am going to have to resort to the the toilet cubicles as there was not a single tree, shrub or hillock to go behind”. The evening was spent relaxing, eating and trying to work out how to stop my back being bashed by my bag. I also began thinking how nice some pepperoni would be, despite a plush diet of 12 of the finest mild curried beef boil in the bag meals for breakfast and dinner for the rest of the week. We noticed that evening that the following day was meant to be a bit longer at 38 km but significantly less dunes (or at least supposedly).

Through the night I was was woken to the odd slapping on my feet and head, my bum had also started touching the floor as the air had leaked out of my air mattress. Now I assumed this was my team mates trying to tell me that I was rolling onto them and a sign to get off them. After a while I heard a lot of commotion so took my ear plus out and pulled the hood of my sleeping bag off my face to a view of black cloth hovering just above my nose. It took me a bit of time to realise that everyone else had woken up due to our tent blowing down on top of us. In any normal situation I would have put it back up however we all decided it was much warmer like this so went straight back to sleep.

The actual morning at 6am didn’t start much better as my fuel didn’t want to light and after burning my thumb I gave up on the idea of a hot breakfast consisting of my 3rd mild curried beef. Instead I ate partly rehydrated, luke warm and slightly crunchy mild curried beef. It was becoming quite a delicacy. Or so I told anyone that asked. We packed up trying not to let anything blow away and with my desert goggles on I was standing on the start line ready to go.

The race started and much to my amusement and slight concern 2 groups formed going off in slightly different direction. Luckily I chose correctly and suddenly found myself pretty close to the front. I felt like it was going really well, possibly too well as I recognised the group around me as being the “faster” lot. I decided to slow down a bit as it was still only the second day. The day was highlighted by one individual deciding it was quicker to pee whilst running rather than stopping, even with several competitors pointing out that that there were places to go just off the track.

I crossed the finish line very happy that the day was finished and that I was feeling good with only a few blisters. This happiness was short lived when I saw the state of the tent which was being held up just by 2 remaining sticks. As the rest of my tent mates arrived we sorted it out, so well in fact that the local berbers spent the rest of the evening popping their heads in to check out our efforts. We also got a roaring camp fire going which certainly made my 4th mild curried beef taste even better. Before settling in to a now slightly smokey tent, I am certainly glad we were beginning to accustom to the temperatures and more importantly the aromas of each tent and its members.

The sand picking up before the winds hit the camp
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