Christmas in the Sahara

Trip Start Oct 03, 2009
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Trip End Mar 31, 2010


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Where I stayed
Sahara Desert

Flag of Morocco  , Meknès-Tafilalet,
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Despite all of Mustapha’s broken promises our trip to the Sahara was  really beautiful and truly a once in a life time experience.

We did the tour with 3 French Canadians who had also fallen under the charm of Mustapha and had lots of laughs. There is nothing like a mutual dislike towards someone to unite a group.

The drive from Fez to the desert takes all day, but there are some great sights to take in along the way. First stop was monkey valley, it was raining the day we went, but we were told that usually the monkeys come out and take bananas right from your hand and interact with people. The Canadians came prepared with bananas - and passed them around to see if anyone could entice the monkeys out of the forest. We stood on the side of the road in the rain, making monkey sounds and throwing bananas into what looked like endless forest with no monkeys in sight. I noticed Waz shove the banana into his mouth - no way he was letting that baby go to waste…

We got to the desert late that night, but not without the mandatory Moroccan carpet shop stop.

The hotel we stayed at the first night was in a pretty cool location, in the morning we woke up and climbed to the roof to get a fantastic view of the Sahara. In the afternoon we were hoisted onto our camels, turbans and all and set off to watch the sunset over the desert. Magnificent. There was no fiesta that night, just a quiet dinner. We sat around a table with a mad berber guy who must have been drunk or high listening to his senseless jokes and watching him convulse into fits of toothless laughter. We had a bit of a sing along with our makeshift instruments (because the only drums available had holes in them), had a lie down on matts outside and then passed out in our tents. I slept in my clothes and swallowed so much sand that night, but it was worth it for the view in the morning.

Watching the sunrise over the desert is spectacular. The Sahara stretches on as far as the eye can see and looks like an ocean with rolling hills and waves. The colours are brilliant, especially at sunrise as the dunes change from brown to pink, and then golden . The vast silent desert surprised us with its beauty, and we could have stayed there staring at it all day.

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