"Last night my son wanted to appease me because of some annoyance he had caused. 'Show me your desert things,' he said, 'Show me your crystals and stones.' However tired and grumpy I might be he knew how to revive me. I unwrapped everything from its newspaper roll. The chipped flint knives, the silica glass arrowheads, the granite grinding pestle, ancient porous pottery shards I'd found in the Gilf, fossils, shells set in limestone, the jawbone of a gazelle, palm nuts so desiccated they were like stone . . ." Robert Twigger's latest journey is in search of paradise: a desert adventure in the footsteps of seasoned explorers such as Theodore Almasy (the inspiration for The English Patient) who tried to locate the lost oasis of Zezura, reportedly home to hordes of treasure, flocks of birds and a lush, verdant valley. The Egyptian Sahara is one of the most arid and hostile environments on earth: a great sand sea that can lead to nowhere but a dusty death. But it is also a wonder of desolate beauty, where in the ultra clear light of the desert you can see for miles, where 'a falcon floating in the distance above the canyon top is like an ink stroke, a precise piece of calligraphy'. Armed with plenty of water and a homemade wooden trolley (his Lada being too heavy for the sand), Twigger embarks on a desert trip like no other . . .