Sahara Desert to ancient Meknes Morocco
“Get up”. An abrupt Berber wakes us up and tells us to “get on the camel”.
I quickly change to long pants and wash my face, and find my stuff in the dark.
I’ve hardly slept, and this camp has no breakfast. We have to be on camels for 2 hours so he tells.
As the sun rises, you can see how remote this campsite is.
We say goodbye to the staff. I don’t tip here. Personally, this camp needs a major overhaul and I am being polite. there is broken glass, no toilets and it was a hard night.
I do however tip this camel driver.
He is young and he has touched my heart and I kept thinking “that could be my son”.
Working hard and poor like this.
So back on the camels we go.
And as we do the sun peeks over the sand dunes and starts the hot sand to glow orange.
I love the fresh morning ripples of the sand.
So here we are traipsing across the Sahara Desert on cables – it is hard to believe! For me, I feel like I have achieved.
Over the past 2 years we have conquered the jungles of the Amazon; we have come face to face with caiman in The Pantanal Wetlands of Brazil; we have camped out in tents in Mayan Ruins; and even slept in a treehouse. Life is not dull.
The Explorason decides he wants to fulfill a dream. His dream he has been telling me is to walk through the Sahara Desert. So off his camel he gets. And he runs through the dunes. At an almighty speed, his little legs take him rolling and sinking into the cool sand.
He is just so happy! I LOVE to see his dreams fulfilled. To me this is an important part of travel.
We arrive back in the van we have a problem. Over the last 24 hours the driver has been wheeling and dealing with his friends trying to exhort an exuberant amount of money from us for a taxi. Triple the going rate. And we have had all stories that due to Ramadan the buses are booked out, and the taxis are all busy. I doubt the truth. We know he will get a cut. So we get stuck and our travel companions in the taxi are not happy. So we pull up on the side of the road and two taxis await us. This is called a Grande Taxi. There is also a Petite Taxi but you only get these in the inner cities and towns and they won’t go out of town. Only the Mercedes – sand colour of course – can go in the country, and will want to take 6 persons per ride.
At first we crumb Explorason and I in the front. Then he tells us it is agains the law, and he has to be ten, so we get in the back. By now the Frech lady and her boyfriend are very upset with the whole thing.
Again we pass through fertile valleys. We get taken to ridiculously over-priced coffee shop and there we sit on a coffee that is about the price of Paris, way out in the middle of no-where. Not quite, but still – it was crazy prices for Morocco.
At the start the driver is really good. He stops to let us take photos along the way, but soon the others in the car just want to get there.
We ask the taxi driver for a budget priced lunch place, so we stop at a “local” restaurant.
Here meats hang unrefrigerated, and BBQ smoke is thick in the main street.
I have to cover shoulders and head to be respected, though I notice a couple of others don’t.
Next we drive on through the middle Atlas mountains and here we see many people – living in caves and also tents – very Nomadic.
As we approach Meknes we stop for a view, and before long we travel on.
We have arrived at Meknes.