27-Apr-2005 -- Only a couple of hours later, we arrived at the next confluence degree point: 25N 18E. The surrounding looked almost similar to the area we had visited before at 26N 18E.
Later on, while arriving in the black lava cinder cone, the temperature rose up to 44° Celsius (111° Fahrenheit). But the view was breathtaking: The Wāw al-Nāmūs is also called the 8th world wonder! We spent one whole day watching, hiking up the crater, taking pictures and just marvelling at this amazing place of nature.
On our way back northwest, after quite some days out in the desert, we passed the villages of al-Kabīr and Murzuq, filled up our water and fuel tanks, enjoyed a very refreshing shower and an excellent meal in a nice restaurant in Jarma. Getting in touch with locals was always a very nice experience: people in Libya are very friendly and helpful.
Jarma was the starting point for the second highlight of our tour, the crossing of the Erg Ubari: a large sand sea with very high dunes, with its unique lakes, the Mandara, Umm al-Mā' and Jabrūn Lakes. Completely surrounded by high sand dunes, palm threes and reed, these lakes are supplied by subterranean springs and very salty.
Highly demanding to drivers and cars, these lakes are hard to reach and require a good Sahara experience, knowledge and professional car equipment. The sand planks, shovels and winch were quite often used, the sand being very hot and soft, causing the cars to get stuck. On one day, strong sand wind covering the sky with brown dust also made it difficult to find suitable passing through the dunes. Fuel consumption of normally 10-13 litres/100 km average rose to 24 litres/100 km on these legs.
Finally, we reached the coast of the Mediterranean Sea again, crossed the Libyan border post for the second time, spending a couple of hours with formalities, waiting and discussing with the custom officers. Also the guides of the Libyan travel agency (every group has to take a guide by law) could not really speed up the procedure! Via Tunisia, travelling with the ferry from Tunis to Genoa, we returned to Europe. The road through Italy and the mountains of the Alps led us back home to Switzerland.