The great camel trek into the Sahara

Trip Start Oct 29, 2008
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Trip End Nov 12, 2008


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Flag of Morocco  ,
Friday, November 7, 2008

The monkey girls could hardly be contained from running out to claim their preferred camel companion, anticipating their Saharan adventure.  Their Touareg Berber guide, Mohammed, a young and amiable boy, was ready with a trio of varied dromedary personalities.  (picture here)
 
After attempting to make acquaintances with each camel, the girls decided their couriers' names would be "Rice, Bean, and Pork."  Loaded up with the bare necessities, away they went at the brisk speed of camel power into the high dunes of Erg Chebbi. 
 
It is a changing moment upon taking the first steps into the immensity - and silence - of a landscape that reaches 3,000 miles into the horizon.  The austere beauty of the sweeping dunes is a humbling experience.  
 
The girls' guide brought them assuredly to the Berber-style tent encampment, just before sunset at the foot of one of the tallest dunes.  Making the effort to scale a 1,600-foot sand dune is akin to trying to climb a mountain made of pillows; however, even with the handicap of often taking one step up and two steps back, the girls finally reached the crest of the dune to see the dunes stretching out toward Algeria, with the setting sun sinking past the horizon to the west.  The monkey girls sat atop the dunes, pondering the magnificence of such a view with all around them theirs to enjoy in complete solitude.  (picture here)
 
After a large Moroccan dinner of couscous, tagine, and Moroccan salads, the girls sat out by a glowing camp fire as Mohammed and the camp's Berber caretaker sang local songs of the desert with the Milky Way streaming in the heavens above.  (picture here)
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