Saturday, April 16, 2011

Camel Trekking in Sahara II

Morning has broken
After dinner, a Dutch lady asked the Berber… “Where’s the toilet?” And the instant response was… “It’s everywhere!” OMG…Now I am thinking, if Adeline Loh wrote, “Peeing in the Bush” then I ought to be writing, “Peeing in the Sand” LOL! We smiled at each other; all eyes were on the Dutch lady as she confidently shone her torchlight and disappeared in the dark for serious business :). My heart pounded…I have never done this before! 
Time for entertainment

It must have been easy for these Berbers for they have lived on this endless sea of sand all their lives. The night moved on with everyone encircling the campfire, listening to the Berbers chanting to the beats of the drum. The Dutch tourists performed the song, Ya Mustafa in Dutch and they were such a sport….that was hilarious and entertaining. The guy from US next to me commented, “I have never seen so many stars in my life” pointing his finger to the sky. Nodding my head, I responded, “So do I!” The canvas of countless glittering stars above us was like a huge endless canopy! It was mesmerizing!

We were weary; our guide, Ali escorted us to our tent. I asked him if there are snakes and scorpions around and with a firm tone he replied, “Never a snake comes to Berber tent…never…never.” I have been reading too much about the deadly desert snakes and scorpions. After attending to the call of Mother Nature we were all ready to retreat on our bed laid on the golden sand.

My camel at rest
At about 2am I was awoken by the howling wind blowing onto our tent. The wind was whistling and everyone was sleeping like a log. I blinked my eyes on the little bamboo branches above me….praying and hoping it was not the desert storm! From a distance, I could hear the camels snorting and voices conversing in Arabic...it must be the Berbers checking on the camels and making security rounds near the tents. I don't know when did I fall asleep again but by five everyone had woken up and busy getting ready for fajar. We wanted to climb the dunes before the sun burns the sand. 

I peeked out of the tent...and surely morning has broken! The vast pink dunes lay perfectly in front of us.  Eagerly, we started to climb the 150 meters dunes and every few steps forward would slide us back...it looks easy but not until you try it.

Morning light on the dunes
Our tent from a distance
So picturesque
Took this picture from my camel's back
Every group is getting ready to trek
Ali Baba's group - so named by Ali :)

Morning has broken

Morning has broken, like the first morning 
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning 
Praise for the springing, fresh from the word 
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven 
Like the first dew fall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden 
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning 
Born of the one light, Eden saw play 
Praise with elation, praise every morning 
God's recreation of the new day

Sung by Cat Stevens

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