Day 9 (cont'd): Merzouga Sand Dunes, Sahara Desert

sahara Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 25 › view all entries
The edge of the Merzouga Dunes in the Sahara desert

That afternoon, we finally arrived to the hotel at the edge of the desert where we met our guides, the Blue Men of the Desert (the Berbers) who would guide us through the Merzouga Sand Dunes in the Sahara. This was it, the moment I had been waiting for throughout my whole trip, to ride a camel through the Sahara. We took only what we needed in our daypacks (which I had packed the night before) and off we went to find our camels. Well, we smelled them before we saw them. They were awesome. They had those cute faces with those beautiful long eyelashes which protect their eyes from the sand. We were each led to a camel. Our guides helped us mount them and tied our camels together in groups of about three. We waved goodbye to Mustafa and Achraf (they stayed back at the hotel) then off we went into the Sahara.

Rebecca on her camel
  Yala!!

The vastness and beauty of the Sahara is beyond words. You really have to see and experience it to understand what I mean. The color of the sand is so vibrant, it is just amazing. After a bit, we made our first stop. We stopped by a Sand Dune so that we could climb and see the sun set over the desert. Well, I'll admit it, I am very out of shape and was only able to make it two-thirds of the way up the Dune. Only a very few of us made it almost to the top. So we just sat down and took pictures as we saw the sun start the set. It was beautiful. Then came the fun part of going down the dune. The Berbers fondly call it "Beber ski". What they do is have you sit down on the sand and then grab you by your feet and basically drag you down the dune on your ass.

Me on my camel looking like Gomer Pyle, duh, well gawllllyyyyy (not my best photo (this is why I don't like pics of myself)... sigh... forgot to put the rim back down on my hat, don't laugh)
It was soooo much fun. Thank god I had my waist pack strapped over my tunic shirt which was over my pants so I did not get any sand down my pants. Some of us were not so fortunate.  Poor Bel's pants were completely full of sand.  She had sand in places she never though she could have. So while we kept the Berbers distracted, Mel held a big towel around Bel while she took her pants off and shook most of the sand out and out of her underwear.

We climbed back on our camels and headed off to our Berber campsite for the night.  Before we arrived one of the girls, Helen, who was on an opposite Dune from ours, took a picture of a few us as we were sillhoutted against the sunset.  I have included that picture below. We finally arrived at our campsite where we were led to our respective Berber tents.

Yala... off to the desert we go
 In each tent, there was included many blankets and a mattress for each of us to sleep on. There was a divider in between each tent with two mattresses on either side. For light, they included a lantern on each side, which of course, clumsy me, I knocked over and quickly picked up, if not I would have set our tent on fire. I'm such a klutz sometimes. They even had some portable, flushable, toilets out for us in the desert.  We had to carry our lanterns in order to make our way over to them. Pretty cool.

Outside in the center of all the tents, they had a dinner table already set up for us. Before sitting down to eat, though, the Berbers served us the customary hot mint tea which we drank as we sat around the warm fire they had going.

The top of my camel's head
It was so peaceful there.  After tea, they served us a tradional Moroccan dinner which consisted of soup and Tajine and then afterwards, fresh fruit for dessert.

There we were after dinner, just hanging out in the Sahara with the Blue Men of the Desert. Then came the entertaintment. They brought out their drums and tambourine/castinet-like instruments and started playing for us. The singing and dancing came soon afterwards. Then, one by one, we were all pulled up to join in on the dancing.  We even had belly dancing lessons from of the members of our tour, Margaret, who at one time was a belly dancer.  It was blast.  A night that I will always remember and treasure.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The edge of the Merzouga Dunes in …
The edge of the Merzouga Dunes in…
Rebecca on her camel
Rebecca on her camel
Me on my camel looking like Gomer …
Me on my camel looking like Gomer…
Yala... off to the desert we go
Yala... off to the desert we go
The top of my camels head
The top of my camel's head
Were being led by the Berbers (th…
We're being led by the Berbers (t…
Miranda on her camel, Rebecca on h…
Miranda on her camel, Rebecca on …
Our shadow on the the sand
Our shadow on the the sand
Anna & Bronwyn
Anna & Bronwyn
Margaret, just hanging around havi…
Margaret, just hanging around hav…
Bronwyn and I just sitting on a sa…
Bronwyn and I just sitting on a s…
Some of the girls almost made it t…
Some of the girls almost made it …
Berber ski ~ me and Ana being drag…
Berber ski ~ me and Ana being dra…
As the sun is starting to set in t…
As the sun is starting to set in …
Berber showing Miranda his wares…
Berber showing Miranda his "wares…
Sunset in the Sahara
Sunset in the Sahara
This is a picture that one of my t…
This is a picture that one of my …
Margeret (aka Melika) in front and…
Margeret (aka Melika) in front an…
Bronwyn in our Berber tent, yes la…
Bronwyn in our Berber tent, yes l…
The outside of our tent
The outside of our tent
At our campsite in the desert, get…
At our campsite in the desert, ge…
Miranda (l) and Helen (r) enjoying…
Miranda (l) and Helen (r) enjoyin…
some entertainment... Berber deser…
some entertainment... Berber dese…
Now thats a fire
Now that's a fire
and now the dancing and singing be…
and now the dancing and singing b…
Melika is out... shes free, go Me…
Melika is out... she's free, go M…
Jade, on conga drum, and Rebecca l…
Jade, on conga drum, and Rebecca …
and now we join in the dancing...
and now we join in the dancing...
sahara
photo by: mario26