Did you bring a rain jacket?

This is no ordinary day in the desert - it's Ida's birthday! Happy Birthday Ida!

Building on the success of yesterday, we were up early to get as much progress in as possible before the sun got too hot. Everyone now has their favoured clothing routine - some starting bare foot, some in socks, some in shoes.

The desert continues to amaze. The sand changes colours, looking quite pale in places while in others it is such a deep orange it is almost red. We've noticed that towards the eastern edge of the dune there is more vegetation, while on the opposite side there is more bare ridges of sand.

After lunch what looks suspiciously like a rain cloud appears in the sky - the shade is welcome as are the cooler temperatures it seems to bring. We are familiar now with the fact that dusk brings a strong wind but tonight it is particularly gusty. We don't mind the wind but the sand that blows with it gets everywhere. The cooks try their best to keep the grit out of the food but we are resigning ourselves to crunchy curry and sand literally EVERYWHERE. It's impossible to keep it out of anything.

The wind also plays havoc with Ida's Birthday party. We have two lovely home-decorated M&M birthday cakes complete with candles - but the wind makes it impossible to light the candles, even in the lee of the vehicles! Ida made a wish anyway...

Ida's birthday lunch - some well-earned shade and some balloons!

Ida's birthday lunch - some well-earned shade and some balloons!

Ida's birthday cake complete with candles (and sand...)

Ida's birthday cake complete with candles (and sand...)

We were all impressed with Steph's new sand-protection goggles - especially with the matching headtorch combo - but we don't think it will catch on.

We were all impressed with Steph's new sand-protection goggles - especially with the matching headtorch combo - but we don't think it will catch on.