Tuesday 2nd April
Another early start; I think most will be. Having packed and loaded we were off following the track through the forest and then on through the mountains.
Amazing trails and tracks which took some driving in places. All got through without incident, but Phil then blew a tyre when we were “safely” back on Tarmac.
The rest of the day was driving on through the mountains and then down slowly into the valley floor. Again the landscape changed completely with trees and greenery giving way to our first sight of desert. Not all sand dunes, but parched sandy, stony ground with less and less trees and shrubs. Every now and then an oasis would come into view in a complete contrast to the surroundings. At this point an oasis is much larger than generally imagined, more like a small farm with land given over to crops.
A short break for coffee and provision collection in Zeida, a slightly longer one for lunch a little later and then it was tarmac up until the last mile or so of the days run.
As we got closer to the overnight stop a message came across the radio about the sand storm up ahead. As we turned off the road Mike made the decision, after speaking to some Nomads, that we were to make camp at the pre-planned oasis. And so a mad dash across the sand, in worsening conditions, ensued.
At the point of writing most people have parked up with as much shelter as possible and are sitting in their cars waiting for the storm to blow through. The only tents up are Scoobies roof tent – although I wouldn’t take bets on its survival – and Jo & Phil’s; as they have the two kids with them it was important that they got some shelter.
The Nomads estimated the storm would blow through by 7pm. Only time will tell …..