Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tourtists! To the Edge of the Sahara and Many Run-On Sentences

The Kasbah at Skoura
This is a lucky day of summer, just hot enough to not complain about the heat or humidity, bright blue sky, summer flowers and grasses popping with color. And we are ready to go to a Long Island beach and reckon with ourselves by way of saltwater and sun.

Same weather, our Spring, Southern Morocco and a trip on a gorgeous day in March from Skoura, Morocco to the edge of the Sahara desert into the Erg Chebbi dunes. These were the same dunes where, after an 8 hour car ride through vast and magnificent landscapes, we popped out of the car and onto a camel and rode off into the sunset under an enormous night sky full of stars and nothingness for almost 1,800,000 square miles. Also known as miles and miles and miles and miles... 

past the deep steep Dades Gorge 

past small roadside villages

past nomad tents

to the  many choices of someone or someplace who was going to get us  up on camels and take us into the dunes. It was hard until it was easy because of course, we had no reservations and these signs pointed to something in the vast nothingness we could not see. And we drove on a road not made for our little rental, four wheel drives waving us to go back! Go back! 

But we persevered because all of these signs had to point to something and in the end, they did. When asked by the nice hotel man in the newly built Kasbah hotel if we would like to sleep here, NEAR the dunes or take a camel and sleep in a tent overnight IN the dunes, we looked at each other with a, "duh" and "IN THE DUNES" even with our backs and backsides achy from the long but beautiful car ride, the last bit of stress over the rocky dirt path to nothing which turned into something and then there were...

Two camels left, the third camel ridden in each of our lifetimes: the first (named Michael Jackson) in the Thar desert in India, the second (name forgotten) in the Agafay Desert in Morocco just a few years earlier and now this one, named Habibi, led by a man dressed in a torn cobalt blue robe, purported to be Toureg (because tourists like to think their experiences are authentic) who helped us up, who spoke little English, French or Japanese, just enough to say "hello!" and "everything ok?". We were fine. We were laughing and bobbing and on our camels. We were finally free for some reason, in the middle of nothing and quiet and sands upon sands and finally the Sahara Desert, desert of dreams and Lawrence of Arabia and fierce and frightening battles and romance and magic and night and stars and darkness except for the flickering firelight of our camp just up ahead and a tagine we were hungry for and other tourists and a shared love of something that felt like adventure, good enough for me in that moment.

Into the Erg Chebbi, where we would sleep for one night, wake up and see the sunrise and march these camels back to the road where, for them it's a way of life and for us, well, we are just tourists.

other tourists


AbbieBabble said...

These photos are breathtaking. What an amazing adventure!

Cindy said...

you two are travelers not tourists. tourists visit places to check off an item on a bucket list. travelers visit a place to learn about and be inspired by the culture. it's different and your trip photos are always great, especially for us arm chair travelers.

Anonymous said...

This is really a delightful wonderful blog. The writing about your trips is so good and the pics are stunning. Thank you for continuing to share your well edited, beautiful vision of the world with us. I wish you continued success with your inspired jewelry.

Joseph said...

I like the kasbah which you mention in picture it is so precious and i would like to invite you to explore Thar Desert in Pakistan where you can research on very old civilizations at very cheaper cost.