The dust on the horizon had settled down and the sand beast beyond the djebel seemed to have fallen asleep. The blue people had told me sandstorms this time of year meant seasons are changing, yet summer was still lingering around as far as I could tell. The vast panorama of the surrounding barren peaks and their gravel slopes strangely resembled those backgrounds in 60's westerns where Joe was just about to pull his Colt against Ramon Rojo while the pocket watch was playing the tune on a loop... And just like in the picture, the decor sets the action, the rules. And the overwhelming sun burning everything that stands still, mountains of burnt granite. This peak here, above all. And for a moment I am a king in my own gravel empire. Waiting for the dust to settle, so I can continue my journey, I am scouting from the tip of it, standing next to the remains of an army outpost. Granary ? Caravan checkpoint ? Right now, I'm at a loss to know which memory I will cherish the most. Last night in the dunes and waking up to see the moon and the stars above me and be petrified by the silence or this view right here, a dozen miles away from the Sahara and a little further away, Algeria. The wind howling through the rocks seems to tell stories long forgotten of gold, furrs, ivory and spices. One wonders if the dust that is just about to settle is the same dust stirred by the sultan's caravans centuries ago. On the way down, I say my silent good bye to the Sahara and the empire of loneliness within. Till next time, bitter lover. You always take more than you give.