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Was There an Addax in the Erg?
Jeannette Bruce
June 25, 1973
The answer awaited a hardy band of tourists who, guided in part by a Tuareg with conjunctivitis, crossed the Sahara in Land Rovers
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June 25, 1973

Was There An Addax In The Erg?

The answer awaited a hardy band of tourists who, guided in part by a Tuareg with conjunctivitis, crossed the Sahara in Land Rovers

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"Ouvrez la porte," whispered the voice, and like a broken record it continued the entreaty. "Ouvrez la porte, ouvrez la porte." Receiving no response, my Arab then crept around to the window with the same soft plea. I said loudly, "Allez!" My Arab bowed, raised his hand in a sign of peace and disappeared. All was silence. I considered my problem. Should I venture forth again, or was he still out there lurking with his ouvrez la portes? Then the solution came to me. Robin had given me an extra canteen, and Burmeister had half-filled it with cognac. First I drank the cognac, then used the canteen and went tipsily to bed. Necessity is the mother of all sorts of inventions.

"Show me this Monsieur La Porte and I'll bop him," said Robin.

Our last jaunt was to be a two-day trek into the Tassili Mountains. Hans and Suzanne stayed behind. Suzanne said she did not have proper hiking shoes. Hans said he did not have the stamina.

Out of the Land Rovers at last, we climbed up and over the rocky slopes to camp at 2,000 feet, preceded by donkeys carrying our equipment. Dr. Wellard took us to see cave paintings dating back to 8,000 B.C. and after dinner gave his usual erudite lecture to his usual inattentive audience, after which everyone went to bed in sleeping bags minus cots, perched on slabs of rock under the grotesque outcroppings of overhanging cliffs. The good old North wind came up that night, and by morning the temperature had unexpectedly dropped to 22�. We held cups of hot coffee with frozen fingers, then stumbled down the slopes, shivering in our lightweight clothes.

Our remaining hours in Djanet were taken up with packing and returning our expedition equipment.

Mike said, "Where is your pillow?"

"Blew away in the sand storm."

"Where is your flashlight?"

"In Bilma."

Robin said, "Where is my canteen?"

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