Stranded in the Moroccan Desert at over 50 oC

Stranded in the Moroccan Desert at over 50 oC

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Waking in the Zagora Desert

We woke this a.m. to a cool, almost cold desert breeze. We had slept outside under the stars last night and in the end, I huddled to keep warm with my son.  I was glad at 5:00 a.m. when a cheery man woke me to get ready for breakfast and the sunrise.  Yes – 5:00 a.m.  Not much of a sleep in for desert dwellers.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – camels tied.

They tie the front knee of the camel so it is unable to stand, so they are not pegged down in any way.

This ‘girl’ and I have a bit of a conversation about her nose bling.  It is quite funny as you would almost think she is talking back.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – this camel needs a breath mint

Explorason is racing across the sand dunes, making virgin footprints in the soft cool sand.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – morning sand dune run

Breakfast comes toward us, and I can smell the aroma of fresh coffee and mint tea – it is lovely in the fresh desert breeze.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – breakfast is coming

It is a pretty basic Moroccan breakfast, but considering we are in the Zagora Desert, it is also pretty good too.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – breakfast is served

As we sit to start breakfast, I notice the sun start to peek over the hills, so I race over there.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – sunrise # 1

We have some fun trying to catch the sun. The first time Explorason misses it completely.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – sunrise # 2

So I sit, and ahh, he catches it perfectly.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – sunrise # 3

If you look beside the tent, you can make out the morning prayer time for this Islam follower on his knees.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – morning Muslim prayers

It rises majestically in the sky, eager to warm the day, and we realise we had better scoot back to breakfast.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – sunrise over the Bedouin tents

So we head back and it seems deserted.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – sunrise and the camp is deserted

Everyone is enjoying their photo moments so we eat in peace and silence, and the call to camels soon comes for us.

We have another chat with the camels. It is fun. They seriously respond as we talk.

We then get asked to tip the camp staff, and they really did deserve it.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – camel talk

Time to ride off back to meet the van driver.  We join another tour later today and say goodbye to this group that heads back to Marrakech.  They are all lovely, and we will miss them.  The ride back is easier, but we are more relaxed and don’t change to long pants. The chaffing is so bad, that Explorason is crying.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – getting ready to go

The one thing I did not like is that the guy called me a “sooky” last night when my back was aching on the camel as the saddle was slipping, and then today he called Explorason a “sooky” when he said his saddle was slipping.  Yet he now has chaffed legs as a result, and he is no “sooky”.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – poor Explorason had chaffed inner legs

Explorason hops off and walks. One of the group give him some cream for several parts of his legs that are red raw.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – saying farewell to our camel driver

So we tip them, and say farewell.  

Pretty soon there is one boy who is quite asleep in the front of the van. We have been told you are meant to be ten years old to be sitting in the front, but he gets so car sick at times, and is nine and a half so we figure it is close enough — especially as he is tall for his age.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason is exhausted

We pass some pretty rugged terrain, and when we stop this guy is out selling dates and figs in hot sun.  There is a handmade basket with lid and some fresh dates in and it is all of $1 AU. I feel so sorry for him.  We are his only customers.  What a hard way to make a living, so I buy some. Call it my Random Act of Kindness as I pay a bit more and head on.  Some people have such a hard life.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – be thankful – this man works in the sun for next to nothing

We then head to an antique store for our van to try and buy their wares, and when we go to sit, we discover kittens to the delight of Explorason in the chair. There are cats and kittens all over Morocco. He is enthralled.

It is a pretty crazy antique store.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Moroccan Antiques

Now comes a drama. We stop in a town for lunch around twelve noon and are told we will wait one hour for our connecting new tour.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – lunch in the hot wind

It is the town Ouarzazate and it is probably 55 degrees in the sun.  They now tell us two thirty p.m. for the driver to come, so Explorason really wants to go to the Studios / Museum where they have made the movies.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – exploring the Movie Museum #1

As soon as we walk in, we are almost the only ones there. Free to touch, climb and feel the props and enter the rooms.

We meet a nice Russian guy and he takes our photo, then that is it for the rest of the time.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – exploring the Movie Museum #3

We had a wow of a time with the props. It was brilliant.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – on the four poster bed

Here I get to be Queen – well for a minute.

I can’t choose between the four poster bed and the throne.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – acting as Queen

It is sooo hot we can’t cope, and we leave to cross the street to get water, but honestly, we could barely cross the main street. The sun was ridiculously hot, and I am a tough Aussie girl, and I think my son can cope with most things pretty well. But this is insanely hot.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – in the hot sun

So we end up in the desert. Waiting. Stranded.  The sun is melting us. We have had so many trips to the bathroom, because we are just drinking litres of water. How do these people in Ramadan do it?

At 3:30 p.m. we finally peel ourselves off the seats where we had waited and the van comes along.  It is absolutely packed, and the driver puts us all in the odd seats left around the van. We get to met the new people, and they are all pretty nice. Mostly Dutch for some reason.

We arrive at the Gorge Hotel and it is like sheep fighting for a pen.  We madly all complete our Registration cards and I explain to them I want to show off their hotel on my blog, so they upgrade us to an upstairs room.  The main room is for Explorafriend – she gets 3 beds to choose from, but the problem for her is there is little air flow, and the Air-conditioning remote costs an extra 100 DH.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – we arrive at the hotel and get an upgrade

We get a tiny curtained off room, and decide to share a bed.  We are also told Ramadan ends tonight and we lose an hours sleep.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – lovely traditional bedroom

The room opens out to a large terrace area, overlooking the somewhat dry gorge.

The hotel is very traditional and quite nice.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – reception area

Opposite a display is made into the hills.

We all share a table for our van and get to know each other. It is a pretty nice traditional Moroccan dinner, and fizzy drinks and water are sold. At the end fresh melon is served and it is lovely.  I feel for the guy working here. He has worked hard and it is the end of Ramadan. He needs to go and eat and celebrate.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – lovely dinner group

And we need to go and get a few hours sleep — tomorrow is another big day as we drive to the Sahara Desert.

 

 

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