Just minutes from the city, swoon tire tracks blow away in the wind, and the vast plain of sand quickly becomes disorienting.
The sprawling desert north of Agadez, in the west African nation of Niger, is the size of France — and the search is on for a single stranded truck.
We’re lucky; our military escort is armed and equipped with GPS, along with rough coordinates of which lane to brain. But as night autumns and we begin to ignite through our petrol reserves revving through the deep sand, uncertainty spreads.
Somewhere out there is a group of terrified migrants, lost in the desert for periods, fearing that their hopes for a better future far from here will be terminated amid the dark and shifting sand that surround them.