Desert camp 1st April

We drove from Fes to the Sahara. We passed forests with Macaque monkeys and climbed into the mountains. The scenery was spectacular. Along the way we saw patches of snow here and there and the temperature started to fall.

These are the type of villages we passed. They are in oases in the valleys where there are streams. The landscape is so rugged and harsh, not unlike Australia or the Nevada desserts.

On the way we stopped at a fairly unremarkable restaurant. We had seen people fishing in the river and Ridouane had said they were fishing for trout. I thought he was joking and said I hope we get some for lunch. We were delighted when that was what we received. It was such a nice change from Tagines. I actually ate two because Mary doesn’t like fish with the head on. It was so fresh.

What surprises us is the barren country suddenly reveals a green oasis of palms or green trees and farm plots. These valleys are long and often surrounded by steep rocky cliffs on which villages have been built. Most of them have been settled since the 16 th century or earlier in the 11 th century. The architecture is the same now as then only they use concrete instead of mud bricks. The towns mostly look dusty and shabby but inside the homes are quite lovely.

We stopped at a Berber shop where we all got dressed in Berber gear. Unfortunately I had my dress over my clothes and I look a bit like a pregnant midget! We all loved the head dresses though. we posed with the Berber flag which symbolises blue for the sea, green for the land, yellow for the desert, and the Berber symbol which combines the cross of Christianity, Judaism and the crescent for Islam.

We all looked so funny but I looked like a pregnant midget because he dress was over my jacket which has my phone, wallet and camera in the pockets!

When we arrived at our dessert camp we were all thrilled by the tent accommodation. It was so delightful with a little kettle over our hand basin in our personal tent, and an eco toilet, and shower where you had to pump the water. We were greeted with mint tea and biscuits then we went up onto the top of the sand dune to watch the sunset. We all had our heads dressed in traditional headwear which was fun. Then the cameleer came in with the camels and we took a short ride. Mary was very anxious and screamed every time the camel did something more than walk. At one stage she was going Oh! Oh! And I said she sounded like she was having an orgasm. The cameleer thought it was a huge joke! I loved being on a camel again. Ridouane took photos for us. I was on the last camel.

After our ride we went to dinner. The food was fantastic, some of the best we have had. After sitting outside watching the stars it started to get cold so we headed for bed. Jamal the camp captain came to our tent to show us how to zip up the tent for the evening, but we were getting undressed. Anne yelled out ladies dressing and I grabbed a towel for modesty. He just zipped the tent and retreated. The breakfast next morning was fantastic too though we took another camel ride to see the sunrise first. The whole experience was quite magical really. We would all have loved to stay another day.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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