Tuesday, February 26, 2013

i heart the sahara.

if you're ever headed to morocco, i highly recommend making time for the sahara (it was a three day round-trip from marrakech). to begin, the 1 and a half day road trip to first get there that you're dreading is not dreadful at all; it's absolutely fascinating. that's where you get to see moroccan townsfolk and the berber hill dwellers doing their thing; working the land, shepherding animals, selling apples, minerals and fossils on the side of the road, children working alongside their parents or playing in the fields. this is not the type of car trip where you doze off for a minute.
when you finally get to the sahara, you first have a glass of mint tea and a swim in solitude (if you came prepared), then get on your camel (dromeda actually- one hump, not two) for the mini-trek to your camp. you arrive at your camp just as the sun is setting, offering cool air and the most opportune time to climb to the highest peaks to check out the great expanse of burnt orange sand for ever and ever. you settle into your camp while your tour guide (of sorts) is busy making the most delicious feast in the make-shift camp kitchen; he is a saharan jack of all trades, because after guiding us out on camels, then cooking, he leads a musical moment with hand drums and singing.
we chose to sleep out under the stars which was absolutely magnificent. i did not have the most restful sleep, covered in dew and sand, but feeling so small in this big, big world for one night was a magical experience. the stars and moon had shifted above you each time you opened your eyes; the milky way shone oh so bright and there were shooting stars galore.
you awake at dawn and there is no sight quite like a saharan sunrise. whhhhhooooooaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.


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