Sahara, Part 3

Trip Start Mar 23, 2012
Trip End Apr 03, 2012

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Flag of Morocco  , Souss-Massa-Drâa,
Friday, March 30, 2012

We arrived at the camel meeting point a little before dusk and hopped on the camels for our adventure into the Sahara. Turns out that riding camels is actually really really unpleasant. They are extremely wide and bouncy, and they have a big hump right in the middle of their back. Needless to say, two hours on the camel was less than ideal, but it was extremely funny.

Our campsite was surprisingly modern, although I think my expectations were quite low. The tents were pretty big with actual mattresses in them, although none of us actually got under the sheets. I know this comes as a shock, but everything was rather sandy. The food tent was huge was a ton of tables, and we had dinner with the rest of the people from our tour. They served sandy soup, followed by sandy tajine with sandy bread. Good thing we had so many cookies!

After dinner, the guides made a fire and played some drums. We listened for a while then tried to figure out how to take pictures of the stars, then went to bed early. We were very tired from our entire day of sitting in the car.

The next morning, we woke up at sunrise to climb up on a sand dune and take a ton of pictures! Then we had a quick breakfast and got back up on the camels . I think the tour guides understand that while tourists are always very excited about riding the camels, we don't actually want to ride them for a long time (despite what we might thing initially). So they only made us ride for like 30 minutes before the vans showed up to drive us back to Marrakesh.

We drove back on the same general route but without all the stops, so it took much less time. Lunch was in Ouarzazate, so we got some good pics of their Kasba. Our restaurant for lunch was really delicious—probably our best meal yet in Morocco. Kebabs and cous cous, both Moroccan delicacies! Very good. The rest of the ride back was pretty unremarkable—we all slept for most of it.

The van arrived back in Marrakesh around 5 PM and our night bus didn’t leave until 11 PM, so we had a ton of time to do some shopping! We re-packed our bags at the hostel so that we would be ready to go when we got back from the souks and headed out. We stopped first at the souk where we had bought all the earrings a few days prior to say hello to our little friend. He was happy to see us and gave us really good prices on a few things. Then we started on our real mission—to find some nice tapestries. After going to a ton of places and negotiating with everyone, we found a dude to sell us 4 big tapestries, 1 small tapestry, and 1 scarf thing for a really good price. Hurray!

We were then kind of in a hurry to find some quick food and head to the bus station. Luckily, our nice friend with the earrings offered to help us find some good to go and took us to a kebab stand near the central medina. He refused to let us pay him for all the help he had given us, so we bought him a little cake at a nearby bakery and took it back to him. He was very pleased, and the kebabs were delicious.

Then, we caught a cab and headed to the bus station. The bus left right on time and was very nice, so we slept well and arrived in Fez at 7 AM without any problems (other than all having to pee really bad because there wasn’t a bathroom on the bus…). Next post about Fez in a few days!
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