Usual start, crack of dawn, blah, interval sprints, stretch in glorious setting blah blah, breakfast (most delicious bread cheese balls on the planet) blah blah blah.
After morning training drive into town to check in today’s route. Then off to a sweet water lake for swimming. The water is crystal clear, you can see the fish swimming. The only way is to dive in – there are pockets of warm water, but the real warm water is back at the shore where we first jumped in. The lake is surrounded by rustling reeds, with birds flitting in and out. The isolation is superb – post-prandial nap time. Afternoon training is based on the themes of dealing with nuisance callers and how to attack in a ladylike manner. Most enjoyable though occasionally painful.
Pack up and load up, then surprise drive over a particularly steep dune to a hot spring on the other side.
Aaah – our muscles and tendons relax into the bubbling, warm water. Inflated spheres of algae occasionally float to the surface.
Final session of fun on the dunes, the highest and steepest so far – nerve-wracking and exhilarating by turn. A couple of the youngsters try running up – it gets harder as you get nearer the top and they end of having to use their hands to make it to summit wheezing like a couple of superannuated smokers.
The dunes really feel alive – the wind is strong and no sooner do we make tracks than they start to be remodelled and the dunes return to their pristine state.
After failing to give a mention to yesterday’s pumpkin souffle (baked in the pumpkin), I have to make a special mention to tonight’s creme de la creme de la caramel. Two enormous bricks of silky sweet deliciousness, which seems to have a death-wish for sliding off the plate before we can sit down to eat it.
The food at this Eco-hotel is organic, fresh and inventive. At each meal Mohammed the chef tries to see if he can stuff more variety into us, luring our tastebuds to over-ride our “full” signals. He succeeds.
This is our last night here. I am not sure about the concept of a luxury hotel without electricity, but as we spend longer here it becomes more attractive.
The people here have been unremittingly kind and considerate, from the silent older man who lights the lamps to the young men who serve up food.
The rooms are large and the beds comfortable though all the surfaces are rough and handmade. The buildings are adobe, and at first I felt like I had joined the Foreign Legion or ended up as an extra in Tatooine. Food is absolutely superb (as you may have guessed by now) and the setting by the lake is beautiful. If you can understand the concept you will have a great time here.