Morocco Part III: Camping in the Saharan Desert
We drive for hours and hours through uneven terrains. Roads are built into the sides of sandy cliffs and nothing but desert stretches out for miles all around us. When it gets to the point where we have to drive off-road and directly through the sand, our driver turns the air conditioning system off so that all the 4×4’s power is going to the brakes and engine. It’s a rocky ride.
After 15-20 minutes, we stop in what seems like the middle of nowhere. I ask Jamal what we’re waiting for, and he replies that we’re waiting for the local guide who knows where the Zagora sand dunes are today. I gaze back at him in confusion. Today? “When there are sandstorms,” he says, “the dunes, they move around.” I nod sheepishly. I should really get my desert knowledge up to scratch.
The local guide arrives and we reach the camp we were aiming for shortly afterwards. I had imagined tiny tents, a real ‘roughing it’ experience, but the tents are more like gazebos with decent beds inside and some very questionable ‘en-suite’ facilities that I won’t go into. The guys running the camp prepare us an enormous meal of olives, cous cous, salted lamb and more. When we’re finally stuffed, somebody starts a bonfire and it’s not long before we’re all sitting around it singing and talking and laughing.
We lay around under the stars relaxing, until finally it’s time for bed. In the middle of the Sahara, I get the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages.