The second time we returned home from Africa we had only been there for a week. Our first venture into the 'dark continent' had taken considerably longer, nearly a year in fact, yet this second whistle-stop visit had left us noticeably weaker. Burnsy had run the last 60km of the 260km long Sahara Race with a knee that refused to bend as intended. For my part a naivety in relation to blister care culminated in the loss of all but four of my toenails. Resulting infections meant that the ensuing weeks were ones of pain accompanied by illness. Such discomfort, however, was infinitely more manageable than the mental malaise that began to fester.
The race itself had been a huge success for us both. A tiny training window left us apprehensive about our ability to even complete the bloody thing and hence our time and placings were a huge source of pride and satisfaction. For all this, the race’s end promised only a return to the actuality of amateur adventuring, debt and dreaming.