Drive across the steppes, alongside sand dunes. Unimpressed as dunes not very high. Have seen higher ones in Singapore's sand depository.
Arrive at base of dune. Put on two jackets, scarf, hat and sunglasses as want to be well-protected against sand and wind. Pleased with self re level of foresight and preparation.
Decide that this is like walking on the beach.
Degree of incline changing. A bit tougher now.
Scattering of plants peter out so no footholds left. Guide gives up and waves me on.
Crisis! Slip and fall almost on top of dead camel.
A flash of inspiration. Must be strategic in tackling this. Decide to climb in a zig-zag fashion.
Realise my zig is almost parallel to my zag.
Thighs burning. Sweat dripping in eyes. Audible huffing. Eerie howling as sands fall away under feet with every step. Sit down for a break and slide down two metres. Damn.
The sand dune is very big.
Mistily ponder existentialism.
Have enough of zig-zagging. Put head down and climb directly upwards. Feet getting heavier with every step. Literally, with sand.
Look up briefly and am startled. Five steps from top! Observe slight hysteria.
Claw self onto ridge. A moment of exultation!
Wave furiously at guide near base. Quickly realise mistake as balance is lost and foot slips backward. Decide to sit down as not wise to fall off wrong side of dune.
Slide back down the dune. Sand everywhere in periphery, and in shoes and underwear.