The first stage of the day up to the junction with Taghit was fast, a breeze blowing us along nicely. The ride was fairly dull but it enables to think about many things. A red Land Rover passed us hooting and waving in the morning that day. After lunch, it became quite hot.
At last, we approached Taghit. The road rose to a cut in the rock and, in front of us, we saw our first view of the ‘Sea of Sand’ or the ‘Grand Erg Occidental’. Wow! What a sight. It was an enormous area of huge, orange sand dunes. We sped down the hill, taking a couple of pictures lower down, and went into the palm grove at the bottom.
We shot past a group of Czech’s, who waved, and we pulled into a bar on the hill the other side of the small valley. We had a couple of drinks and went off to find the camp site. There, we saw the red Land Rover from earlier parked up. After checking in at reception, we went up to the couple in the Land Rover to say hello.
Eddie and Harriet were very friendly Brits and amusing with it. Eddie gave us a beer to share, which was lovely. We talked for a while and then set up our tent in the shade and settled in.
In the evening, we walked up the edge of the erg and met Eddie, Harriet plus Erik and Evelyn, a fun Dutch couple. Eddie had found a pair of skis and boots and was trying his luck skiing down the sand dune. He had a reasonable amount of success but no steerage!
The sight of the ‘Sea of Sand’ was magnificent, breath-taking. We took some photos of us in various poses with view in the background. Dan and I went to the top of the highest sand dune to get a better view. Unfortunately, an Algerian man with a pair of binoculars and trying to appear like a tourist himself kept pestering us to change money.
Erik and Evelyn came up to join us and we swapped cameras and took photos of each other. We sat up there for a while talking and watched the sun set over the desert. It became quite cold very quickly, so we moved down, running down the sand dune for most of the way, which was great fun in the half light. Dan and I cooked up on our own that night and crashed out early.
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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