Take it as it comes

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This was the Sahara in February. A surprising desert – knocking out all thoughts of rolling sands and Lawrence of Arabia. This was a desert with vast vistas of stones, marks of old volcanic calderas and dried out once-upon-a-time river beds. A good symbol you might think for ageing – just shows how resilience and toughness survives.

I walked across it (or some of it), with four friends, ten camels and four Tuaregs. In one week we covered 100 miles, walking six hours a day. A week of huge silences, clear skies and emptiness. We encountered the occasional wild ass, black goats and their nomad herders. A goat in the shadow of a rock that looked as if she was in distress, but was – as we watched – in the very act of giving brith.

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People had lived and survived and died here for centuries. When they died, big rocks were just piled up over their bodies. We came across Muslim and pre-Islamic tombs. And in the middle of nowhere, the devout outline of a mosque.IMGP0873

At night we slept out in minus something temperatures. We looked up at more stars than the sky seemed it could have space to hold them.

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