Day 5: We are finally going to get to ride in the dirt. But not before a swing through the town of Matmata, the gateway to the Sahara Desert. Or maybe more famous from the movie, and I quote, "War Stars," where the bar scene is filmed. Yes, I ate lunch in there. We then quickly got onto some typical fast and rough dirt roads and it didn't take long for some of the guys to learn that we weren't on dirt bikes. One blown shock, a lot of severely bent rims and at least as many near get-offs, this could be a really trying competition. The US team rode slow, in the back and stayed out of trouble. Our camp for the evening was at a hot spring oasis Ksar Gulmamne. Just getting into the area on the soft sand was trying for some of the guys but an attempted trip just a few hundred meters, as a practice, pretty much put a lot of teams and riders in their place and shelved egos at the same time. It was a pre-cursor of what was to come and after working well into the dark to extract all the bikes, we were finally back as a group and eating some food fortified with sand. Sand that was falling out of our eyes and ears.