Part 3 of the overland saga and I’ve even grubbed around in the attic for my old sketch pad.
Sleeping. By the time we reached the desert we slept where we lay our sleeping mats. Scattered around the truck in two’s and three’s. Generally as far from the canoodling couples as possible. There were no roads, just space. It was pretty cold at night, so we’d bundle up in sleeping bags and doze off watching the shooting stars party.
One night GDeb and I were chittering quietly in our sleeping bags. “Bummer,” said GDeb, “I need to go to toilet”. “Crap”, I said, reluctantly, “Spose I’d better go too”. “Psssst!” hissed Sparkle, lying a few feet away, “You going to the loo? I’ll come”. We crept around the truck getting the trowel/loo roll combo then walked across the hard, freezing sand towards a rocky outcrop. Five minutes later, we’d dug, done and buried our biz, and turned back towards the truck. Chatting away. We walked for another five minutes. No truck.
“Whatthefuck???” “Where’s the fucking truck gone?”
We stood in this enormous expanse, looking in every direction. Nothing. We worked out we’d walked towards a particular rocky outcrop, identified that in the distance and started to walk away from it. Nothing. Silence.
“Er, we’d better shout,” said GDeb. “HALLLLLLLOOOOOOOOO!!!! HALLLLLLOOOOOOOOOO“, we shouted. And shouted. And shouted. We tried synchronised shouting and individual shouting. Nothing. We tried howling. We tried screaming. Nothing. We tried barking randomly. We howled with laughter and then started shouting again. HHHHHEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPPPP!!!!!
By now it was about 2am and we were all hoarse. The sky was darker and it was freezing. We decided to look for the truck when it got light or we might just get more and more lost.
“Ok, Sparkle, you’ll have to lie on us both”, I said. “Yep, bulk us Sparkle”, said GDeb. Sparkle, an amiable estate agent, had started the the trip as a very chubby laddy. Unfortunately, he’d trimmed down a huge amount during the journey, off the booze and the pork pies. It was one of the most uncomfortable nights ever on freezing, hard ground. We thought about fashioning some sort of bedding out of the loo roll but it was nearly all gone. It had been a very ill thought out dunny trip.
Hours and hours and hours and hours and hours later, the sun rose. We stood up, chilled through, stiff, parched and pretty fed up. No sign of the truck. Just desert everywhere. “Bloody desert”, Sparkle muttered.
“One, two, three…” said GDeb…“HEEEELLLLLPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!“, we shouted. In the light we tried again to identify the rocks we’d originally walked towards and kept shouting. After about 25 mins we heard a tiny, tiny voice in the distance. “Heyyyyyyyy!” Instant hysteria and relief as we started running towards the noise. There, in the distance, was the truck. Usual morning activity was happening. Nobody had noticed we were missing.
Two days later we arrived in Tamanrasset. A two day trip to the Hoggar Mountains was planned. GDeb and I ducked out and stayed at the campsite in Tam. Sleeping.
Part Two can be found here.
Canny eyed blog followers may remember Sparkle turning up in an earlier post….