One of my favorite travel adventures was a three day trek to the Erg Chebbi sand dunes of the Sahara desert in Morocco. It was rather touristy, but to be completely honest, I’m not sure I’d want to visit the Sahara any other way. Being alive is awesome.
We were picked up in the Djemma El Fnaa in Marrakesh. It’s quite empty at that time in the morning.
There were ten of us total; five Americans and five Australians (what did I say about Australians?!). We had two vehicles, ours conveniently without AC.
On our way to the desert.
Our first stop was Ait Benhaddou, where Lawrence of Arabia and many other movies have been filmed. It’s a kasbah fortress made mostly out of mud and hay. Good thing it doesn’t rain often.
We then headed up the winding road into the Atlas Mountains…
…to the Todra Gorge.
Did you know there’s snow in these mountains? There’s even a ski resort! You can stop off for a few turns before you head out to the desert. Crazy.
We saw oasis’s.
And “Monkey Fingers”.
And herds of wild camel roaming the desert.
Remember how the AC was broken? Apparently riding in the front seat of the car with the Saharan sun beating down on you from multiple angles can lead to heat exhaustion. By the time we made it out to the sand dunes, I was feeling quite ill.
But then I saw my camel…
…and he was so handsome. His name was Jimi Hendrix. He probably sings Castles Made of Sand. It made me feel better.
|A castle made of sand. Kind of. Also in Morocco.|
Then we trekked across the dunes.
There was even a race!
And we all watched the sunset.
Some of us happier about it than others (me!).
That night we stayed in a traditional Berber tent camp.
We played drums around the campfire.
In the morning we watched the sun rise over Algeria.
Then we drove back to Marrakesh.