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November 18th 2016
Published: November 20th 2016
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The anticipation of the Sahara experience made the uninteresting 5 hour drive to the end of the road frontier settlement of Merzouga worthwhile. A typical mud brick Berber hotel was the staging point for our stay at a Berber camp in the Sahara Desert. On the way we crossed from the middle to the anti Atlas at 1907 mtrs but mostly signified by a barren rocky outlook with occasional knarly juniper trees which can happily survive in the harsh environment. Further along the river valleys the scenery changed to lush date palm valleys.

Most of our luggage was stored for the night at our staging point (Auberge Salama) with only basic necessities able to be carried via a one-hour camel ride to a Berber desert camp under the stars. Timed to arrive near sunset the slog up the Erg Chebbi sand dunes was rewarded with stunning orange-coloured views of the surrounding skyline in every direction.

The camp has been set up as a square of bamboo framed tents with a course material matting cover & overlooking a central entertainment area for pre dinner banter & drinking. Unfortunately many of us had succumbed to head colds or diarrhoea.

After a traditional meal the evening ended with our Berber hosts singing & drumming around a campfire before the cold sent everyone to an early bed.

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