The legendary Sahara...

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Saturday, September 23, 2006

I've discovered a new form of torture - it's called camel riding. Well - apparently they're dromoderies, but who the fuck cares. What matters is that I'm currently suffering from the greatest pain in the history of the world - an all over bodily pain radiating from my ass. And my ability to have children is in severe doubt. One hour of this form of torture is sure to have anyone screaming for mercy. I like to call it "camels' revenge". And credit to the camels - or dromedaries whatever they are - they sit around obediently, stopping, sitting standing when told, seemingly completely satisfied by the fact that humans make them carry not only them but a whole fucking heap of provisions - masses of fruit, tubs of water and other kinds of food, annoying tourists, and probably fridges and rear projection tvs if necessary. But they suck it up and, secretly, each individual camel puts into action "camels' revenge". Ever notice how a camel stands up and sits down 2 legs at a time meaning that it's on a downward 60 degree angle? Do you know how average that is when you are sitting on top? Why can't it go 4 legs at once? Dogs, cats, deer - all of them - do it 4 legs at once don't they? You know why the camel doesn't? Camels' revenge. Notice how when camels walk, their hump bounces up and down ridiculously to create the maximum possible turbulence at the hump? Notice how that's exactly where a person sits? Yep - camels' revenge. Notice how camels have cultivated their image so perfectly that spitting at people is just one of those things that they do? Genius if you ask me. Camels' revenge. Brilliant. I'm willing to admit that my camel completely dominated me. Me? Constant, insistent utter pain. Excellent camels' revenge. Or are they dromedaries?

I have little idea where camels' revenge took place. After trekking on the camel since just before sunset, and watching it do so magnificently from atop the vengeful single-humped beast, we continued in the complete darkness until we came to some camp. Where was it? No idea. In the desert I guessed. The early morning rays revealed that we were, indeed, surrounded by the sweeping sands of the Sahara, sand dunes and caravans in the distance, complete silence. The vistas were impossibly cliched and amazing - surreally so - with the fine desert sand settling in delicate tiers upon the dunes; the golden sun on the golden sand enhanced by the ever-present light desert mist. Brilliant.

The night before was equally beautiful, as the millions of stars of the northern sky beamed down on the desert, uninhibited by city lights, sights or sounds, only the sound of the berber drums competing with my wondering whether the eagles had made it to the grand final. The desert? Brilliant. Worth torture by camels x 100.

Kasbahs are overrated. No doubt. Well, firstly, what the fuck is a kasbah? Having seen several on the way to the desert, from the outside only - I'm not paying the 10 Dirham entry fee - I glean that they are mud-brick buildings in the form of an old city, much like the rest of Morocco that's not within a Kasbah. Maybe the interior would have provided some insight. But - really - when you really think about it really hard - what is a kasbah? Kasbahs - overrated and undefined.

So, to the Top 5. Music. After having blatantly contravened the rule about 'music Top 5s being the first entry in a new country', I'm returning to what I always the spiritual homeland of the top 5. Therefore, this entry will see a return to music. Note - the music rule has been abolished, replaced by a rule which states that "Music will be the Subject of a Top 5 where Mark is satisfied that it is necessary and convenient". So, Top 5 songs to some up this Sahara desert trip:

5. Africa - Toto
4. I miss you (like the deserts miss the rain) - Sade. It almost rained when we were in the desert.
3. High and Dry - Radiohead
2. Rock the kasbah - The Clash
1. Http colon backward slash - Mark and Chris

It's Ramadan. Food may be difficult to obtain. Average. To Fez!
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