Stranded in the Moroccan Desert at over 50 oC
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.
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.
Breakfast comes toward us, and I can smell the aroma of fresh coffee and mint tea – it is lovely in the fresh desert breeze.
It is a pretty basic Moroccan breakfast, but considering we are in the Zagora Desert, it is also pretty good too.
As we sit to start breakfast, I notice the sun start to peek over the hills, so I race over there.
We have some fun trying to catch the sun. The first time Explorason misses it completely.
So I sit, and ahh, he catches it perfectly.
If you look beside the tent, you can make out the morning prayer time for this Islam follower on his knees.
It rises majestically in the sky, eager to warm the day, and we realise we had better scoot back to breakfast.
So we head back and it seems deserted.
We then get asked to tip the camp staff, and they really did deserve it.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We had a wow of a time with the props. It was brilliant.
Here I get to be Queen – well for a minute.
I can’t choose between the four poster bed and the throne.
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.
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.
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.
The room opens out to a large terrace area, overlooking the somewhat dry gorge.
The hotel is very traditional and quite nice.
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.
And we need to go and get a few hours sleep — tomorrow is another big day as we drive to the Sahara Desert.