The desert is amazing and beautiful. Our days settle into a routine. 5.30am start. The stars are still out which is, of course, wonderful, “It makes getting up early worth it” I say to Mike and he agrees. Emma and Mike leave as soon as it is light. Emma running, Mike on the bicycle. We clean up the camp and set off. I am very strict in the desert. I’m not sure how quickly things decay here but I’m guessing slowly, so we have a “leave no trace” policy. Poo paper goes in the poo bag. Not everyone is happy with this but no-one wants toilet paper blowing across the desert.
I never knew there was so much life in the desert. We can see hoof prints round our camp.
At 8am (10 miles down the road) Robert lights a fire (he has become our fire man) and he calls, “Aysha, you’re wasting my fire.” I have to get snappy with the porridge. No milk, as we have no fridge. Porridge with salt. I know this sounds horrible but as long as you put it in at the beginning it tastes delicious. Then, after it is cooked, I add cinnamon and honey – in time, at the request of the team i also add two apples and a banana. Around eating, which must happen within 20 minutes of stopping, Emma needs a massage, sunflower oil works surprisingly well. Emma also needs to use her roller and to stretch.
9am Emma and Mike set off again for another 10 miles or so. We have to pick a nice spot for lunch.
11am is the long lunch break waiting for the heat of the day to pass. Eating, sleeping, repacking the back of the car, massage for Emma.
3pm Emma sets off again for her final 10 miles or so, depending how she is feeling.
The sand is tough to run, she slips back with every step and its harder on her leg muscles. The wind is also against her. At the end of the day, we only have wet wipes for her to wash off the dust and sand. Carrying only 100 litres of water in total for 5 people means we have to be careful with the water we use as we don’t know where we’ll fill up next. But I rarely hear any complaints from Emma.