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Sahara

Day 65: The Ténéré Desert

 
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Michael Palin - SaharaI stop to jot down this little gem, and by the time I've put my notebook back in my bag, Omar has moved ahead, his well-worn light blue robe billowing out to reveal deep blue cotton leggings beneath. Several camels have passed me. I've lost Ashid and am alongside a camel I don't recognise. I look up to see Akide lying flat out on top of it. He grins down at me. I hope he's impressed that I've opted to walk with them, but I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm completely mad.

A tiny lizard, shockingly naked and white, pops its head out from a stunted clump of grass, takes one look at us and darts back in again.

The wind changes direction and starts to blow grains of sand directly towards me. I glance sideways up at the camels, but they seem completely unaffected, long lashes down, protecting their eyes from whatever is thrown at them.

I take a swig of water, trying not to break step as I do so. Omar is even further away now, and I'm almost halfway down the camel train, alongside Izambar, who returns my smile but, for once, says nothing.

I look down. The desert floor has changed yet again and is now covered in a series of crusty flakes, like fragments of eggshell. Like dew, dried and hardened.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Sahara
  • Day: 65
  • Country/sea: Niger
  • Place:
  • Book page no: 184

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