desert trip // photo diary // part 2
August 12, 2014
Finally, here’s the second and last part of the desert photos. Not finished with my Morocco trip though, so I hope you’re in for more!
After passing by Ouarzazate, “the door of the desert”, the scenery slowly changes. Each step closer to the desert gets us to more and more desolated lands and isolated towns, no people sign on the streets or in the houses, sand taking over the sidewalks and the walls, everything looks abandoned with a creepy movie feeling overall. All of this while barely making it through the heat, so I suppose that everyone is hiding in the coolest corners of their houses. Each step closer to the desert meant another Celsius degree more and the car sensor was already showing 50 degrees Celsius.
We were taken to a hotel close to the Erg Chebbi sand dunes that we were going to cross to get to a nomad tent where we were supposed to have dinner and spend the night. But we had to wait until 6 o’clock in the evening, so that the sun was less harsh, and guess what? Most unexpected and welcome surprise: the hotel has a pool!!! So yeah, swimsuit on and let’s refreshen ourselves (Lesson 1: ALWAYS take your swimsuit with you, no matter where you’re heading to!)! Best 2 hours of the whole roadtrip, relaxing at the pool and enjoying a delicious mint tea from the house!
And afterwards, hop on the camel and let’s ride the dunes! It’s all fun in the first 15 minutes, then 15 minutes of silence, enjoying the apparently neverending desert (although you could easily just spoil everything by turning your head and admiring the road and the hotel left behind) and finally one hour of “are we there yet?”.
Uh, oh! And the sand of Erg Chebbi dunes has a reddish tint! I was really convinced that it was going to be more yellowish, but apparently here it was quite red. I just hope those dunes were not some improvisation for touristic reasons. 😀
Well, prepare yourselves for a bunch of sandy photos!
We had a fun night at the nomad tent, although it was definitely TOO touristy and “directed” (not the “authentic” experience I was expecting, but yet again, I’m not sure how possible that would have been in the given circumstances). Nevertheless, the food was DELICIOUS (again, the traditional tajine, but one of the best I had in Morocco).
I tried some sandboarding, which was quite a failure, as the boards were broken and I could just hop on them and struggle to slide down the sand dune.
What was truly spectacular was the night sky. One of the clearest skies I’ve seen in my life! You could basically distinguish every little star, even the most distant ones, and the Milky Way was so beautifully visible. I remember seeing such wonderful night skies maybe twice in my life before, both times from Romanian mountains.
We left early in the morning to catch the sunrise and then off to return to Marrakech… or in our case, off to Fez. We split from the group and took a local bus.. now this was an adventure! But about that story, in the upcoming posts!
Enjoy the photos! <3