Woke very early before sunsrise. Everyone else asleep judging by the snoring. The change in colours as the sun rises is difficult to describe in words – but I’ll give it a go. The White Desert takes it’s name from massive chalky outcrops and pale marble geological pavements sprinkled with crystals. At sunrise the already pale blue sky is suffused with a pink blush. The whole landscape takes on the rosy colour, the sand taking on an intense yellow. Then the high ground is hit by the early rays flashing white against the soft pastel landscape. I haven’t been able to send many photos but I have tried to capture the changing liight. If it works out I’ll put them on this blog. After early sun exercises with extreme stretching time for standard Egyptian breakfast then off to find some shade for training. Building up speed in your sidestepping on a steep sandy incline is no joke. We Train Everywhere indeed!
Lunch at a wild oasis – usually you can bathe using the pool designated for washing but the stone pools had been cleaned of accumulated algae and had not yet refilled. At the oasis there was another group of tourists finishing up their lunch, a reminder that part of the oasis tradiion is to meet people from other places who are also passing by. The heat was building up and Dennis baptised us all from the spring to stave off heatsttroke A wild oasis is basically a ground spring with palm trees growing over it. It teems with insect and bird life. I missed a photo opportunity with a sparkling grey wren but caught up with what looked like wagtails and a thrush. Dennis’ dulcet tones announcing that Fouli had made tea ended the photo session. Shortly after as we were falling into post-prandial dozes a sudden sandstorm brought the picnic to an abrupt end. Back to work!
Driving through the dunes I have been trying to take video but we are bouncing around like lottery balls inside the car. Stop at the other top of the world and take unbelievable photos that will probably look flat and dull back home, try more step training and cartwheels. Back into the cars soon to be followed by several extempore demonstrations of how to retrieve cars that are stuck in soft sand at the bottom of precipitous dunes. There are special boards (maxtracks) that are put under the tyres that you then try to drive over. We were sunk too deep so we had to rock the car side to side to raise it out of the sand then use the maxtracks. Eventually we were out and had a bit of a lie down at the top of the dune in the shade of the cars. We stopped on the way to the campsite to take a group photo at a picturesque spot (as though they were in short supply out here!). Then back to try out the camp shower. Now the stars are coming out whilst we wait for dinner – goat cooked buried in the sand.