In mirage country

In mirage country Waves and ripples at a distance. A promise of relief for the parched throat. A herd of camels splash and spill water under their hoofs. We reached them after a long drive. But there was not a drop of water. The camels hesitated a moment, then continued their trudge. At some distance, again water splashed under their hooves.

A lakeshore. Waves were playing tender music. Some animals, huge as whales, were resting by the lake. Some vessels seemed to have anchored there; but we could not say if they were ships or boats. Some people were bathing; some washing. Slow down, or the car would plunge headlong into the lake, warned somebody. After that we drove a whole day but did not reach the lake.

We had been travelling through the Dehna desert in Barak-al-wadi in south western Saudi Arabia. Eight days and eight hundred kilometres later we got used to hallucinatory experiences

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