I’m a a mere couple of hundred metres from the edge of the Nile yet standing at the precipice of 5,000 kms of the most uninhabitable land in the world. The thing that strikes me about the Sahara desert is that it’s less the pristine sandy dunes of legend and more mostly just an endless crappy Dublin beach mixture of sand and rocks. That said, it is pretty awesome.

I’ve taken the quicker route to the top of the dune, racing up the sheer sand wall (much to the disappointment of my lungs and those muscles in the backs of my legs that I reserve only for special occasions and exercise) but some of the group are taking the slightly longer, slightly less “Oh Christ, I think I just collapsed a lung” route. They stop for a break and I snap a picture of them, mere specs of dirt on the gritty sand horizon.