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Location Scouting Report #10: The Desert of the Red Sand

After the balloon trip, the scouting team returned to the hotel again.
Since we had left very early that morning, we rested there until noon.
Wanting to get even more out of the desert, we went into the red sand regions that afternoon.
This was truly going to be day dedicated to the desert.

We rode in five land cruisers, and set off to an area further southeast from the place we had been riding the balloon through that morning!
From the cars, we could see the red desert area come into view.

Once we got there, we had to leave the cars as our drivers started making preparations for going further into the desert. This was done by taking the air out of the tires!
This is a clever method to prevent the tires from getting stuck in the soft sand.

We gently touched the desert sand, and indeed - the grains felt fine and soft.
The desert we saw from the balloon had a whitish color, but the desert sand in this area contained iron, which gave it a red color.

While we were waiting for the drivers to finish their preparations, we took a short walk through the area, spotting some Sodom's Apples blooming all by themselves at the entrance to the desert.

Once the preparations on all five cars were done, we once again got on board. Let's Driving!
The cars were roaring around in all directions, up and down the trackless path, making us feel like we were on an amusement park ride.
The guidebook was definitely right when it said "motion sickness pills are a must!"
Our bodies were constantly shaking from this thrilling(?) off-road drive.

When the cars finally stopped, we found ourselves on top of a sand dune that stretched on all the way into the horizon.

For some reason, this all felt very strange.
The scenery was such a sharp contrast from our everyday life that we felt like we'd entered a painting.
Yet there we were, very much standing in that landscape.

It was a completely silent world.
The soft sand was delicately dancing about in the air, piling up on the camera.
Despite constantly worrying about sand getting into the lens, we were enthusiastically snapping photos of the patterns the wind had drawn in the sand.
We wanted to get footage of the sun setting into the desert as well, so we started our trip back towards the desert entrance in good time so we'd make sure to get there for that.

Just like our trip into the desert, our trip back consisted of wild and crazy off-road driving.
Brimming with hospitality, the drivers were eager to a point where we wondered if they weren't overdoing it, but eventually one of the cars got its tires stuck in the sand!
We somehow managed to escape... or so we thought, but shortly after we were stuck again!! This time the car had fallen completely into a valley of sand dunes.
By the time we finally managed to pull the car loose with a rope, it had become dark all around us.

We left out a breath of relief as we left the desert and got back onto a paved road again.
It was pitch black all around us, and we were really happy we weren't left out in the desert right now.
It really felt like we had returned to the real world again.