As promised, in this post I will write about my journey to the Sahara Desert.I was very excited prior the departure because visiting the Desert had always been on my bucket list especially after watching Sex and the City 2 🙂
But, before I embark on a camel ride into the wilderness that is the Sahara Desert, I made a few stops along the way to the Desert, in the outskirt of Morocco. I took a tour from the hostel where I was staying for a 3-days-and-2-nights all inclusive tour to the Sahara Desert, the Desert was being the last stop before heading back to Marrakech. It was a budget tour that cost me around 70 euros so it was not fancy at all but it was still an amazing experience.
The first stop was Ait Ben Haddou, a famous ancient city which lies along the route between Marrakech to the Sahara Desert.This place becomes well-known because it has been utilized as a shooting location for several famous Holywood movies, namely Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Prince of Persia, and recently for the sensational TV series Game of Thrones. I had not watched GoT at that time so I was not as excited as the rest of my group. Had I known that this place was the shooting location of Yunkai, I would have been more ecstatic.
The next stop before the Sahara Desert was the magnificent canyon of Todgha Gorge. En route, our eyes were treated with the amazing view of Atlas Mountain. The driver was kind enough to make a quick stop so I could grab some shots of the beautiful landscape. I also got the chance to visit a little village where the Berber tribe resides and witness the hand-making of pretty Berber hand-woven carpet which they are famously known for. Those carpets are really pretty that I wished I had enough fortune to buy them all.
And now, the last stop, the star of the show, the creme de la creme, the cherry on top of this trip, the Sahara desert! After 2 days and 1 night at the road, I finally arrived in Sahara. It took me by surprise that I would spend a night in the middle (not exactly middle, but you know what I mean) of the desert and became a Nomad for a night.Truth to be told I did not really pay attention to the tour package because my friends arranged everything. I thought we would just visit the Sahara, have a nice Camel ride and head straight back to Marrakech but where’s the fun and adventure in that, right?
We rode the camels with the beautiful Saharan sunset in the background and the view was just mesmerizing. Sure it’s only sand but you would feel like you’re transported into another planet. Thankfully, my camel behave so nicely so I had a comfortable ride to our tent.
I had no idea where was the location of our tents, all I know was we took 2 fabulous hours of Camel ride to get to the tents. So obviously, it was located quite deep into the desert.
We had a nice Moroccan dinner before huddling up near the fire because, boy, it was cold and I took the trip in the middle of European winter. So, although there’s no winter in Morocco it was still quite freezing compared the other time of the year. Especially since we were in the middle of a freakin’ desert!
It was a whole new experience for me to sleep in a tent in the middle of the Sahara desert like a Nomad. I even had to pee on the sand. Not to mention the snake that decided to appear pretty close to where I was peeing! Oh, the horror!
Right before the sun rose, we were awoken from our beauty sleep (sarcasm, of course) to take another 2 hours of camel ride back to the van that would take us back to Marrakech. Unlike the first ride, the second one was not very pleasant. I had different camel and this one apparently didn’t like me. The ride was rough, in addition to my sleep-deprived self. I didn’t enjoy a single bit of the ride back despite the beautiful scene of Saharan sunrise. Enough to make me vow, if I ever come back I would just take one camel ride and take a Jeep back.
All in all, it was truly an amazing experience and I would definitely love to go back and spend the night in the Sahara desert again, but probably with a more comfy tour the next time.
Have you ever visited the Sahara? Do share your experience with me! 🙂