Sahara Desert to ancient Meknes Morocco

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert to ancient Meknes Morocco

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©Exploramum and Explorason – The camel awaits

“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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert camp at dawn

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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert Farewell

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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert camel driver boy

So back on the camels we go.

Morocco
©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert camel ride

And as we do the sun peeks over the sand dunes and starts the hot sand to glow orange.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert sunrise

I love the fresh morning ripples of the sand.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert sand dunes

So here we are traipsing across the Sahara Desert on cables – it is hard to believe!  For me, I feel like I have achieved.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert sand dunes

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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – the Sahara Desert walking in the sand

He is just so happy!  I LOVE to see his dreams fulfilled.  To me this is an important part of travel.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert – a delighted Explorason

Now he takes photos for us. What an amazing photo taken by a 9-year-old. I’m so proud of him!

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Sahara Desert – our camel train

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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Grand Taxi

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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – inside the Grande Taxi

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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – fertile valley

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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – stopping for photos

We ask the taxi driver for a budget priced lunch place, so we stop at a “local” restaurant.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – stopping for lunch

Here meats hang unrefrigerated, and BBQ smoke is thick in the main street.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Moroccan BBQ

It is not a pretty site, and the street is junky. But Moroccans are clean people, and you will always find them washing hands before meals.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – another tarjine

We get another Tarjne (I’m getting a bit ‘over’ tardjines) and a big hunk of bread. Coke comes in 1 Litre with no ice.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – soaking up the Tarjine with bread

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.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – the last photo in the Atlas Mountains

It takes us eight hours to finally get to Meknes. Our Riad sends a man to meet us as we are in the old medina.
Our long day is over.

We have arrived at Meknes.

 

 

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