Teri and the Stars
looking up with her headlamp
Route from last entry...
Boulemane Dades - Merzouga (Sahara Desert) - Fes - Chefchaouen - Tangier - SPAIN!!
Leaving from the last blog, after that sweet hotel in Boulemane Dades, we set off for a night in the Sahara desert near Merzouga. Having received a random confirmation email a few days back that we had been upgraded to a private luxury berber camp in the Sahara, we were pretty excited to say the least.
Our route to the Sahara was surreal, driving through a landscape of scorched earth, nothing around but a random camel or goat or two. It was a long drive but we arrived at Merzouga, the gateway city to the desert. Now, from here, most tours (that's how you see the desert) just stop at town and base yourself there for the obligatory camel trek into the desert, but not ours! We zipped past the city leaving us in wonder as to exactly where we were going. The huge sand dunes now visible we encircled them, finding a small track behind the major dunes that most people stop at. Our driver, Hmed (from Merzouga Journeys - recommended), somehow finding this sandy track through the dunes
and took us deep into the desert, making sure not to stop the vehicle or we would for sure be stuck in the sand. We drove like this for about 20 minutes getting deeper and deeper into the Sahara, us totally unsure where the hell we were going and more impressively, how the hell he knew where to go! Then, we arrived - holy shitballz!!!
We arrived at our camp for the night and were immediately blown away, literally smack dab in it, a random scattering of tents in a sea of sand. Then we entered the tents and were again blown away. These non-descript tents were amazing on the inside, beautifully decorated and even had flush toilets, showers and giant king sized beds - yep, we can spend a night here, immediately wishing we could stay longer!
Welcomed with Moroccon whiskey, aka, mint tea, we set off into the desert nearly right away for a sunset trek via a train of camels. Our group, all animal lovers, not overly keen on using these camels for our benefit, we did it anyways as they looked healthy. So we set off, into the desert for about an hour on
the backs of these farty, noisy beasts, finding, then climbing the largest dune to take in the sunset. Having not-so-gracefully dismounted the camels, we climbed up and took it in, one of those moments you will never forget, pretty sweet place to see an equally sweet sunset!
Post-sunset, we headed back to the camp and enjoyed probably our best meal in all of Morocco and then took in the stars, which were out in full force, around a boozy, bongo-drummy campfire. Funny story, once dinner was done, we were quickly rushed to the top of a small dune in our camp to see the moonrise, where they had a small chair to sit and take it in - a seat Ally was placed in. As she just about sat down, I looked down with my headlamp and right away noticed a juvenile Sidewinder (a super toxic snake in the viper family!!!), right beside Ally's foot...literally right beside! Once the tour people saw it we were quickly removed from the spot as a bite by that little guy would be very very not good, especially considering our super remote location! I was super stoked to see that snake in the
wild, the rest of our group creeped out just a little.
But drama aside, we drank and played drums around a campfire in the middle of the friggin Sahara desert with our new friend Omar, a nomad who lives out there, he cooked the meals, prepped the camp and became an instant friend! And he had the cutest dog ever, Blacky who became Ally's best friend! Really an amazing night, and one that none of us are likely to forget. In the morning, we decided against the second camel ride, opting to let them get some rest instead, had breaky, and set out for a super long drive to Fes.
Fes disagreed with all of us, none of us really took a liking to the city as it started and left off a shitty vibe, everyone there to get your money in any way possible - so it was decided that we would only spend one night and head right away to Chefchaouen - an excellent decision!
Chefchaouen was one if the highlights of Morocco - a small mountain village, awash in blue. The place was super chill and exactly what we needed after a lot of
driving in the past few days - a great spot to chill for a while. The people, immediately amazing and way better than Fes. The tiny medina, a maze of blue buildings was great and the setting of the town, right in the Rif mountains was killer - not to mention we bucked up and scored a whole apartment with a killer deck and mountain views - perfect for a well deserved boozy last night to say goodbye to Alicia and her mother Sally.
Now the three of us, we decided to b-line it to Spain, in need of something different. We bussed up to Tangier and quickly boarded the ferry to cross the Straight of Gibraltar to arrive in Tarifa, Spain, which we soon found to be our favourite place - but more of that for next blog!
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