Day 7: groundhog day

I woke up indoors (I had moved my bed in at 4am when it got too fucking cold), and we all had breakfast whilst our blisters were attended to. Some people made Mocca coffees.

We set off, I peed 16 times, then felt a little dizzy and needed a rehydration sachet. We were crossing the salt pans today, with NO shade. It was a challenge, but at least it was flat and my blisters were calming. Although it was hard to stop and start, so we walked round in circles during any allotted break times.

We played A-Z of websites for a little while, before we realised they all begin with a W. We had lunch in the centre of the salt pan, with only a tent for cover. It was sweltering inside the tent, but we got through it. Farting was also futile, there are so many onions in us all.

We have realised how much we love doc too, she’s uber entertaining. Her obsession with Dustin the turkey remains unsurpassed, and she also apologises more than anyone I’ve ever met. Over lunch, I also picked up on phrases you would only hear in the desert, such as Fiona saying to Michael “can I just get my water before you fall asleep on it?”

We still haven’t found a Magnum, despite having another pop up shop by the camp, which seemed to be selling children. Tracey Island is also wearing the brightest T-shirt the desert has ever seen. I also attempted to do fart karaoke.

After lunch, we fucked around on the camels and got some good photographs. We only had another half day to walk, so we were beginning to feel like tourists. Riding the camels was like being on a hirsute roller coaster.

The afternoon was the crescendo of months of planning, training, raising cash and, for some, worrying, so it felt nicely emotional. I raised over £5k from this trek and the jungle trek added together, woo hoo!

The afternoon passed surprisingly prematurely, although the sun was baking. My constant peeing meant I could experience chatting with a range of different people, mainly because nobody waited for me.

Then, we reached a peak, over that peak was the finish line, we all held hands and walked over the awkward stony ground (or we all held hands awkwardly and walked over the stony ground, you choose) and through the goalpost to the finish, 100 kilometres smashed.

We then hugged, high fived and hip bumped each other. The crew had written FINISH in the sand, using rocks and Delosperma plants. It felt great, but I could’ve walked more. My blisters hadn’t rubbed or popped enough for my liking. We later had another celebratory cup of mint tea.

We climbed a small mountain that evening, to watch the sun set as the moon rose. Nick climbed it barefoot. Later that night, he also stood on a rock barefoot, and said fuck.

We lay in the mess tent chatting, finalising the awards, preparing birthday gifts and making moccas. We learnt that Tracey Island was too memorable to be accepted into MI5, and we begged her to marry someone called Peter Island. There was much horseplay, Darren even gave Louise a piggyback.

Then, chicken and chips arrived. I hesitated and lost out to Tracey, Dick, and had to have vapours of chicken on a big bone.

I decided to go on tomorrow’s early desert walk, even though my feet should’ve rested, so set my alarm for 4am, whilst the camp got drunk on red wine and did a cringe play out of the instrument song. I also panicked that we had set our beds up on a roadway, but alas it wasn’t the case, and we slept well.

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