Hello Dear Reader
Well, what to tell you about the desert? here are the three things I noticed during my time in Lybia.
Three things about the desert
Firstly it is not a desert as you may think. I am sure you have seen movies of soft sand, rolling dunes. Here the sand hard more like a beach within the tide mark. this could be linked to all the construction activity and plan movement but I did venture a little and it was mostly like that.
There was a running joke on site that we were on a beach, it was warm and sandy, it was just a 500km walk to the sea.
Secondly, there is nothing as far as the eye can see. Ok, this is not strictly true, there were a number of oil/gas plants in the area where I was working and they can often be seen belching out smoke and flames from flares or sludge pits.
Thirdly this links to the there is nothing for miles comment. There is a distinct problem with looking out upon the Desert, and that is it plays tricks on your eyes. I think it is because there are no points of reference, therefore it is very difficult to judge if the landscape in front of you flows up or down or lies flat. It always appears to be flat to the horizon. However, as you drive in a straight line you gain and lose elevation which allows you to see more or less respectively.
Oh so quiet
The other odd thing about the desert is how quiet it is, now I have sat at home when everyone has gone out and thought how quiet things were. However, this was a very different sort of quiet this was silence, when you’re at home it is never totally quiet there is always the hum of some electrical appliance or a distant road. Even if you go out into the country there is the sound of birds or a stream or something. But in the desert, there is nothing it is very eery to have no sound whatsoever you stand there and if the wind is not blowing there is nothing to listen to nothing at all.
Oh so dark
During my time in the Desert, I was warned not to drive at night because it was easy to get lost. I accepted this comment, it was a site rule I had no choice. However, it was not until I was driving to the airport at 6:00 am in the dark I really appreciated it.
Have you ever been on one of those cave tours, be it a coal/gold/copper mine and you get down into the heart of the cave and the guide lights a candle and turns of the electric lights, to show you how much light the workers had. Then because it is funny they blow out the candle and you’re thrown into total darkness the kind of darkness where you can’t see your hand in front of your face.
Well, that is what it was like at night in the desert it was that dark, the worse thing about driving was that even with the headlights on the full beam they did not seem to penetrate the darkness more than a cars length.
Maybe it is because there is nothing to see, maybe it is because there is nothing to reflect the light or create a shadow but I could see how even driving in a straight line would be a challenge and I was really glad when the light of the Airfield appear ahead of us.
I don’t really have much else to tell you about the desert, in truth there was not much to tell.
It was hot and sandy and I would not like to be there during the summer it was warm enough when it was pushing 26°C, I am not sure I like to be there when it reaches 45°C