Errachidia Travel Blog› entry 11 of 16 › view all entries
5AM. Today is a big day. Errachidia is the door of the desert, and we are heading to Merzouga where we will see the dunes, will have to play with the compass... and give the school and sport equipments to the association "Les Enfants du Désert"!
I had the best night since the beginning of the raid. The weather is a lot warmer now.
Going through the desert is a dream coming true. And an adventure! Very soon after the beggining of the leg, we are already stuck in a huge wadi. As around half of the participants I guess: it seems we all did not follow the indications very well. A beginner mistake we will not make again as it took us almost 1 hour to push the car back to the right way.
Finally, we are lucky as it is the only difficulty we have to face on the pists. The rest of the day is very fun driving on the pists, feeling real freedom in the desertic landscape... I just can repeat myself: stunning, amazing, etc.
Going through villages is so hard the first times: children just stand in the middle of the road trying to stop us (and if they do, dozens of children come from we don't know where and it takes hours to start again!), or playing by going accross the road in front of the car (we were warned to go very very very slowly), by slaping hands out of the window... On one hand it is good fun seeing them waving and smiling, on another hand, I am always very stressed! Most of the time, making a lot of noise with the car when being in neutral is enough to have them a bit dispersed on the side!
We take time to stop to talk to some of them.
As Sophie can speak a little bit Arabic, it makes the contact even easier. Sometimes, I try to repeat some words she (or the kids) taught me. It makes children laught a lot, I am not sure to be very good at it ^^
We also go through more remote areas where they don't seem to speak Arabic at all. Anyway, by the time the car gets cooler, we still manage to communicate and to smile together, and understand they invite us for the tea. It is incredible: they are so poor (it is not at all Morocco as I imagined it from my French friends whose family comes from there), but they are always so welcoming, offering what they have! We cannot stop every time we get an invitation, otherwise the raid would last forever!
We stop twice for one hour to chat with Berberes, drinking tea while watching some participants stuck in the sand (yeah yeah, we were more supposed to help them but a break is nice as well!).
After a lot of rocky desert, we can see the huge dunes of Merzouga. We stop for walking a bit further inn the dunes. It is a unique feeling I can't describe. On the way back, we chat with a Berbere. We could have spoken with him for hours, sharing about the cultures, the different points of views (we found funny he asked if we were married and explained him why, it brought an interesting debate)... During the chat, he says he sometimes does tours with tourists in the dunes for few days, with camels, like nomads with at night a fantastic atmosphere around the fire, with music and the stars.
We go along the dunes and reach Merzouga.