I was lying in the crook of a rock writing in my sketch book and looking over the endless desert. I could not have been more content.
Looking out to the rock peaks on my left, I saw Maarten off in the distance climbing up to watch the sunset. I was suddenly not content. The scrambling and the perceived view looked too good to be missed. I packed up my bag and bouldered after him.
Seeing that he had his ipod in and was enjoying a solitary moment on his peak, I continued on to the next (and slightly higher) peak. Out of breath, I sat on the peak and took in the stellar view. After 20 minutes I heard something behind me and looked back. There was Maarten climbing up. "I was very content with my view, until I saw you on a higher peak", he confessed.
We had spent the day following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia. With a driver and an early 80's Land Cruiser (that had to be hotwired for each start), we explored the vastness of the desert landscape.
That night I dragged my sleeping pad out into the sand and wrapped myself in blankets. Looking up at the stars, I reflected on my day. An excellent birthday to be sure. Then the wind started blowing hard, pelting my face with sand. Ok, a pretty good birthday.
Maarten wasn't satisfied with this view. (He's the small white dot on the rocks)
A happy birthday indeed.