We are in the desert; nothing but sand, gravel and the occasional xerophyte accompanies us along the two lane road to camp. High winds, either behind or perpendicular, blow ghostly streams of sand across the tarmac. The pelting sand bites our windward leg like pin pricks. Throughout the spattering of stings, the sand falls and collects in our shoes.
Todayâ€™s wind has everyone seeking shelter. Tents are scattered, using either the trucks or dunes to deflect the sand laden wind. Sand is finding its way into everything, even in our peanut butter sandwiches and the bottom of our coffee mugs. The grit crunches between our teeth and coats our skin. â€œNot to worry,â€ riders are saying, â€œWe are exfoliating.â€
The desert claimed two of our trucks and one rider, but both the trucks and the rider managed to escape with only minor scratches. Although the wind is making camping difficult, we are covering ground fastâ€”140km in less than six hours and our racers were in before the four hour mark.
Two days until reaching Sudanâ€™s capital, Khartoum.