Friday, January 8, 2016

Desert Camping - Day 6

Desert camping...this was nothing comparable to camping in Qatar (at least the camping trips we have taken). Here we were actually out in the middle of nowhere, no one riding on the dunes, no sounds. It did take a while to locate our starting point - in the dark- but we finally made it to the patiently waiting camels and Omar, our guide. It's hard to describe the trip to our camp on the camels. It was absolutely magical to ride across the dunes -moving silently, the full moon glistening, lighting up the wandering dunes, hearing the occasional animal but mostly just enveloped in a magical cocoon of silence. It was a phenomenal ride!

The desert camp was a mixture of the nomadic tent with modern conveniences - the tent was   "typical" Berber style made from camel or goat hair and many woven pieces decorated the entrance to the tent, keeping the cold air out and the relatively warmer air inside. Once you opened the flap, however, the luxury started - and typical Berber ended. A number of rugs were layered on the floor, on which was located a double bed, the weight of the blankets was delicious to sleep under! Through the next wall of curtains we found...a complete bathroom! 

They served us a fabulous meal with meats (and veggies) prepared with Moroccan spices - they don't seem to have very spice foods but these were quite nice. After the meal, we were treated to a musical performance, again in the historical style. They played various kinds of drums and other percussions instruments and one young man danced to the beat. 

Jeff had wanted to get pictures of the Milky Way that night but, alas, the sky was totally covered with clouds. Even our early morning rising to great the sunrise found too many clouds to get a good picture, though we certainly enjoyed the morning silence and warming sun. 

Riding back to meet our driver was another treat, seeing the passage we had taken earlier, feeling the warming sun on our backs and greeting camels and herders coming out for the day. Wish we could have stayed an entire day - the silence was fabulous with no cars or bikes kicking up sand on the dunes there!

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