|The Journey Begins.....|
The top Sahara destinations are Merzouga (Erg Chebbi Dunes) M'hamid (Erg Chegaga Dunes) and Zagora (Dunes of Tinfo) but we chose to camel trek Erg Chebbi since it's supposed to be the easiest. It was about 7 hour-drive from Fes crossing the Middle Atlas with few stops for lunch and photography. As we approached Merzouga, we felt lost and empty, our vehicle drove through the barren landscape and the unpaved stony surface got real bumpy. No sign post was spotted and it would be impossible for us to survive this route without a guide.
We finally arrived at the edge of the dunes but we were slightly behind time. Most of the groups were busy organizing themselves. A man in blue robe and turban approached us and he was talking in a serious tone to Ahmed and Mostafa. Though I could not understand Berber, I could tell that Ali, our desert guide was complaining, we hurriedly load our bag packs, water and fire woods on our camels (dromedaries). Ali was busy preparing our camels and he insisted that we should be departing just before sunset.
|My dear camel|
In the vastness and stillness of the desert, only the footsteps of our camels were audible. To break the stillness, Ali chatted and thought us some Berber words and we got to know his culture and tradition. We stopped for a while to watch the beautiful sun vanished among the mountain of dunes. Under the stars and moonlight, Ali amazingly guided us into the darkness to our camp for the night....the desert must have been so familiar to him! Not too long, we arrived at the Berber camp. That night, it was a candle light dinner under the countless zillion of itnar (stars)...something I had never seen in my life.