Tuesday, January 06, 2009

18 November: Aït Benhaddou to The Sahara Desert

This morning we left Aït Benhaddou and set off towards the Sahara. We made a few stops during the day.

We saw some local Berber dancing. There seemed to be some kind of presentation, which we soon found out was for Morocco's Independence Day. You'd think our Moroccan guide might know that already, but apparently not :P The dancing was pretty cool tho and it was nice to get to stop and sit and watch for a while.

We also stopped at a fairly famous sign, "Tombouctou 52 jours" (52 days to Timbuktu, assume that's by camel). And we stopped for a camel ride. I'd actually thought this was going to be part of our journey into the Sahara but, it was more like a little side-step. I will say tho, that it was far better than my camel-riding experience in Egypt!

After that we had a long and bumpy drive into the desert - luckily we'd changed our mode of transport and were now in Land Rovers. We stopped in the middle of nowhere to photograph the rapidly setting sun.

We arrived at our campsite in the dark and ate a decent dinner before making "s'mores" by the fireside. We have 2 American girls who, although it wasn't their idea originally, proved quite expert at the execution. Our drivers and cook were quite pleased at this new taste surprise!

We bundled off to bed at around 9pm, I'd guess. We slept in (traditional) blanket tents with more blankets inside on the floor and very hard thin matresses.

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