Breakfast today is great it is amazing what fresh bread can do to a breakfast experience. After breakfast it is off to the dessert again – today is serious sand driving the driver are letting lots and lots air out of the tyres. The tyres seem almost flat after the pressure is down to probably only one third of the normal pressure.
We are gonna drive through some serious sand dunes and we soon realize the days before – that was not real sand dunes. Today is the day of sand dunes. After we pass one giant sand dune what do we get – an even bigger sand dune. This is great driving – just to be a passenger is amazing I got know clue how the drivers know what is after the top of the dune. But they seem to know if there is a big drop after the top a dune which means they will have to slow down the second they hit the top – or if there is a slow decent on the other side of the dune which mean they will go with full speed.
The area we are driving through is famous for several lakes in the area. In the middle of the Sahara you got these amazing lakes with palm tree all around them. But if the thirst comes along don’t even think about drinking the water – the salinity is just a shade behind the salinity of the Dead Sea. The first stop is a dry lake. It used to have water in it just a few years back but today no water. I think hmm the pumping of water to send it north in the man made river project could that have any influence. For some strange reason our excellent Libya guide don’t mention this aspect. We drive along to the next lake in the area and this one got water in it and is an absolutely stunning sight in the dessert.
But be careful before you jump in – the water on the surface is cold only 10-20 degrees but ½ meter down it will be 80 degrees and you will get burned. It is an amazing sight and I am pleased to see it because I got a felling the man made river will mean in 10-20 years from now the lakes will be gone for ever.
We drive on to another lake before lunch and yet another lake for an extended lunch stops. This is supposedly the most amazing of all the lakes of Sahara. And when we get there it is really beautiful I don’t know if it is the best of all the lakes but it sure is a splendid sight for a lunch stop. They rent sledge and skies for those who want to engage in those activities at reasonable rates. Me I don’t like snow hence I have never ever had a pair of skies on my feet’s and I have not been on a sledge since I was about 10 – hence I pass on the opportunity and just settle with a drive in a comfortable 4WD to the top of the dune.
The drive is not as simple as it sounds – the driver got to take a few detours to get to the top because he gets stuck a few times. Then at the top we got the fantastic view of the lake and the surroundings – impressive I love it.
Just after we get out of the car at the top we meet a crazy driver going up to the top of the dune with maximum speed making sure we get hit by a sandstorm from the tyres and two blokes hanging on to the Toyota standing on the footsteps of the doors. Who are those idiots – and the answer is the two blokes outside the car is bodyguards for one of the members of “The Family”. The Family is not like a Sicilian Mafia family but pretty close. It is the family of The Leader – or Colonel Gadaffi.
After lunch the drive goes on – and it is the most amazing drive ever through the dunes.
But the low tyre pressure means when a truck hits a rock it will get a flat – and soon one hits a rock. The drivers are pretty good at it and we realize that piece of wood in the back of one of the cars actually do have a function. We were just about to burn it on the fire a few days before – but it is supposed to create a foundation for the jack – good thing we didn’t it would probably have been a problem today.
We drive along and there it is a nice little fox. We can all remember the wolf incidence and we don’t think there will be a repeat – but think again. The second the drivers sees the fox they all turn the Toyotas and the chase begging – lets see if we can catch that dessert fox. We can’t and the passenger trucks give up after a short chase – but the kitchen pickup truck carries on the chase and gets lost in the distance.
We have to wait for the kitchen truck to get back to the rest of us – we can’t go on without it. I mean if we loose one of the passenger trucks so be it – but the kitchen truck – we will all go hungry.
The kitchen truck finally returns after a prolonged chase and we continue to the campsite just before we get there yet another flat and we have to change the tyre of yet another truck.
We get to the camp it is just under a dune once again. I decide this will be my last change to sleep in complete isolation under the stars alone in the dessert for a long time and I want to make a breakaway camp. Hence I go searching around the area and decide the other side of the dune where the main camp is would make a perfect spot for my breakaway camp – there is less wind on that side as well because of the dune breaking the wind.
But after my last incidence getting lost in the dark I decide not to carry my swag to the breakaway camp before dark. I will wait until it is time to go to sleep.
So it is just about passing time eating the famous chocolate cookies before dinner and then dinner. We are all a bit interested in dinner – the kitchen truck did chase that fox for quite a while – maybe dinner will be fox tonight? First stop on the menu is as always a great soup and the bread is nice as well you can actually eat it – it is still fresh. Then the main course – it could be fox but it does look a lot like camel. Camel and macaroni. After dinner it is all about getting warm around the fire enjoying the night in the middle of nowhere. Well maybe it is not really the middle of nowhere there is a lot of planes flying to and from the airport in Sabhah a few miles away and we can actually see the lights of the city – but there is the illusion of being in the middle of nowhere.
When the time comes to go to bed I grab my swag and make it to the other side of the dune – finally alone in the dessert. I look for the place to sleep I walk over the dune and I realize I made the right choice the wind is not as strong this side of the dune. I had found it already a nice spot behind a palm tree. It is actually easy to find the spot this time around no problem at all. Then the fine tuning of the spot to sleep I stand and look at the ground to find a level spot – this is good – then standing up feeling the wind – no I need to move ½ meter to the left. Yes this is good there is no wind at all right in this spot – it is the designated camp spot – and I get ready to go to sleep.