Drive out from the town, through broken volcanic ridges, shiny black dykes that cut across the landscape, dotted with the kiosks of the fossil vendors. The volcanic landscape gives way to a vast plain of dark gravel, and as you speed across this, the Erg Chebbi becomes visible on the horizon: at first just a hint of a rise in the distance, soon growing to a long line of dunes, towering up toward the sky.
Sunrise and sunset are without doubt the best times to see the dunes, as the changing light on the dunes runs through a huge spectrum of colours, from sandy yellow, through ochre, to deep orange, and verging almost on purple. It is a remarkable sight.
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