The highlight of my trip was spending one night in the desert, which in Morocco was typified by the dunes and the black rock desert that is between Morocco and Algeria.
I had arrived in town in the pitch dark the night before and I couldn’t see anything, but as the sun rose, I could see why my friend had so strongly recommended going to Merzouga, just a few hundred meters away stood a sea of huge, glowing, golden sand dunes. Merzouga was on the very edge of the desert.
There really wasn’t much to do in Merzouga itself, and the draw of the desert was overpowering, so I decided, as touristy as it sounded, to arrange a day camel trip into the desert. It was an experience I will never forget.
So it was a very quiet trip. Most of my time was spent concentrating on balancing myself and my camera gear on top of the camel as it plodded up and down the dunes. Once away from the town, all I could see in any direction was sand, beautiful, fine, red sand, which glowed brightly in the setting sun. The dunes themselves were like nothing I’d ever seen in my life, almost a hundred meters high, they came to a razor sharp peak at the top, and the difference in light from one side to the next was dramatic.
Taking photographs was challenging, since a single foostep could be seen even a hundred meters away, as it would break up the perfect surface of the dune. Even breathing on the top ridge of the dune would dull the sharpness of the ridgeline. I had to carefully plan each step to keep from “ruining” the sand.
I became very attached to my camel, who Omar named Hable Jable. Omar can be reached at:http://www.cameltrekking.com/, always enthusiastic, outgoing, and personable I was impressed with his english and knowledge… Anyway we trekked on our camels out into the dunes for about an hour and a half with the sun setting behind us. We were headed for a small oasis at the base of a giant dune, by the time we got there it was almost dark and the stars were coming out. The oasis was small, only five palm trees and tussocks of grass. We had dinner, tajine washed down with plenty of mint tea. The rest of the night was spent watching the stars before bedding down for the night on a blanket. The silence was complete that night, not even an insect buzzing. Unlike in Tunisia, we were the only people we saw that night in the desert. I woke at five just as it was getting light and climbed half way up the giant dune and sat there watching the sunrise. Again everything was perfectly still and quite. It was the most relaxing time I’ll be having on this trip. By mid morning we had saddled up and packed up camp and I rode Hable Jable back to Merzouga.over 6 years ago