I was going to wait until I had some pictures, but I wanted to just drop a quick line today as it may be a while before I can post again.
We have spent the last few days in Marrakech, getting a few final things together (scorpion and snake anti-venom...ugggh) before we go down to M'hamid and begin our walk. We are leaving later today, and should be walking by Wednesday. I am hoping to update the site with some pictures and a proper blog before we go, but I am not sure if I will be able to get back to the nearest internet cafe to do it, so thought I would update before we leave.
We both feel incredibly excited - we met Habib here in Marrakech and he has been working like a trojan to get everything ready for us. We will spend the next three weeks doing a practice run in the dunes around M'Hamid - in the Erg Chigaga area for those of you familiar with it - so we can iron out as many of the small issues as possible before we enter the Western Sahara proper. Both of us are amazed at how good it feels to be back. Marrakech itself is entirely a new experience than the last time; for one thing, the dreadful heat has receded and the climate is perfection, and for another, we are simply not as exhausted as we were. It is good to be here and enjoying it rather than just trying to catch up on rest.
I guess that in a few weeks I will be able to give a more balanced perspective on the desert trek, but for now it just feels like the most wonderful adventure, and we are itching to be out there. I guess in another 1000km it will all seem rather routine, but at the moment it feels amazing, and we can't believe it is finally about to happen. It is rather like the day we set off from Trafalgar Square - a whole new adventure.
So, as soon as I can, I will put up some photographs and you can all have a cracking laugh at us in our desert gear and admire our camels.
And a final note from Bob...your point is very well taken, but any day not carrying the packs, was a definite holiday for us after the past year. However, you are certainly right about not going back to the office; I shall have to remember to choose my words slightly more carefully in future...