...and the hill is shifting sand...
Trip Start Apr 15, 2008
16Trip End May 04, 2008
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On the way in, it was quite a bumpy ride in a petite taxi held together by hopes and prayers. The cassette deck played traditional Moroccan music in finicky bursts, broken by Youness removing the tape, smacking it soundly against the dash and licking the ribbon before getting a few more moments of musical bliss.
The landscapes were spectacular and the roads were daunting.
We had our first sight of camels in the desert, and spent time in a tent at what we considered 'base camp'. Here, a number of trekking companies had tents set up around the base of a sizable dune. There was also a traditional Berber encampment here.
We were on the camels for three stints in all, the longest of which was 1 hour 40 minutes. It did leave Udo and Wendy with some stiff hips... The camels were graceful and amazingly quiet. The world, the entire universe, for all time, existed there at that time. The beauty and the strength of the environment were palpable; there was a seamlessness, a fuzzing of physical boundaries, a timelessness. It was abidingly peaceful.
Our home in the desert was a small tent, divided into two rooms. In one room we ate and slept, in the second room Youness and Youseff cooked for us and Youness slept. Youseff slept under the stars along side the tent, under a warm pile of colourful Berber mats and blankets.
We pretty much felt like the only beings in the universe out there. We watched the sun set in the west and thought it wonderful until we turned around and were honoured by the most amazing moonrise on the eastern horizon. It was a full moon. It was absolutely breathtaking. Not one photo did it justice, so there are none posted. Suffice it to say that we were given such a gift by being in the right place at the right time that night.
In the evening, Youseff headed off with the pack camel, Jessha, and returned with a load of scrub and lit a fire. A small table was transferred outside, and mint tea was served.
Another of Youseff's many talents was to bake bread in the outdoor fire. First he made the dough.
The bread dough was placed in the hollow, buried in the sand, and covered with red hot embers.
Here are some additional photos of our oh-so-short visit to the Sahara!