Sahara Desert Adventures
October 26th - the day had arrived, the day we would leave any sign of civilization behind and head right into the desert. Breakfast wasn’t until 10:00 so that meant that it was sleep-in day, which we all really needed. We loaded onto the bus for the millionth time and we were off to ride camels, or dromedaries if you want to be specific. Everyone was really exited. We had all heard how amazing the Sahara was but I don’t think anyone could describe how amazing it actually is. Half of us got on the dromedaries and half of us walked. Riding a dromedary was similar to riding a horse, only less stable. Some of us crossed our legs, which seemed to be a good idea until Lily fell off her dromedary because she lost her balance. Luckily she didn’t hurt herself.
When we got to the camp in the desert, the tents were all in a circle and we were surrounded by sand dunes. It’s surprising how they managed to built the camp with actual toilets, flowing water and even electricity, when we didn’t have all these amenities at our last hotel. We chose our tents and started to head up to the highest sand dune. Everyone got up there and were talking. Without saying a word it started to get quiet, and we sat there in silence for a long time, embracing the stunning sky, the people who had become family over the last few months, and what we were doing in that very moment. We made our way down the dune afterwards and there was a traditional Berber music performance and everyone started to dance – I don’t know if you could quite call it dancing! Once the music stopped, we headed into the tent for dinner. We had tagine, a traditional Moroccan dish. It was good the first time we had it but after it had been served for several days, the excitement over the meal decreased rapidly. The conversation that I had at my table was really nice. We did a compliment circle; in case you don’t know what that is, it’s where everyone says something they like or admire about another person in the circle.
Kerrin looking elegant on the camel ride/walk through the desert
Soon dinner was done and people started to head to the fire or the dunes for stargazing. I went to the dunes, laid down and watched the twinkling sky. I saw so many shooting stars; hopefully all my wishes will become true somehow! Some of us, including me, rolled down the sand dune to sit by the fire. It was really fun at the time but I somewhat regretted the action later since there was sand everywhere – also in places you wouldn’t expect sand to appear.
The people who worked there were playing music again and we all sat by the fire. Later, the guitar was handed to Béla, and we convinced him to play music we could sing along to. Everyone joined in. Then our teacher John rapped: the reason why he did this was a bet with our chemistry class. If we got an average of 85% on one of our tests, he promised to rap. It was probably one of the worst raps I have ever heard but it was really entertaining. After that some people headed to bed while others, wildly determined to stay up all night, hiked back up the sand dunes. I went and grabbed my blanket so I could sleep outside and watch the stars. Shortly after, I fell asleep before being woken up by the rising sun. Everyone started to wake up and went to see the sunrise. Some of us didn’t have to climb the dunes because we had slept up there, and those that had slept outside found that our skin had turned a different colour because of the sand. It was amazing to see the red, vibrant sun rise upon the sand dunes. The dromedaries, a moment ago still fast asleep, were now ready for our journey back. Rocking back and forth, we were led through the Sahara, back to our bus. Although the walk wasn’t exhausting, I could feel the heat of the desert quickly dehydrating my body, and suddenly, the air conditioning of the bus seemed like paradise. Our journey was interrupted time and time by random stops; sometimes we gained an interesting insight into the rural life in Morocco, but other times we were excited for a quick stop and to move on. Overall, this day is going to stay in my memory and heart for as long as possible. Who knows - maybe I will go back into the desert sometime and think back to these moments, remembering the adventure with a nostalgic smile.
One of the camels getting a close up
- Written by Aviva, an English 11 student