Night in the Sahara, Erg Chebbi

Erg Chebbi Travel Blog

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Seeing the Erg chebbi dunes was definitely one of my favorite lifetime experiences. I went with Omar, my berber tour guide and with six other girls. At first i was kind of nervous because i quickly noticed that it was a group of women riding into the middle of nowhere with three berber  male guides. One which was kinda good looking but anywho our tour guide omar was fantastic/ This was the second day of the desert tour and he had already told us a bit about berber customs including sharing some of his own personal experiences and shown us around places like the Todra Gorge. He was not the tour guide some people on our group expected; meaning he did not point out all the little intricacies and gave us  two hour lectures on each site, but when asked questions he always tried to give us an insight on the reality of the experience.

The ride to the berber camp I can honestly say was picture perfect. The desert is just beautiful. The glistening orange dunes were high and all you could see for miles. It took a good deal of trust for seven women to be led to seemingly the middle of nowhere with three male berber guides. We rode our camels for about two hours before arriving to the camp. I was amazed we actually got there since everything looked the same.

The berbers were amazing. They talked to us in spanish and in english. It turns out they all speak about 6-7 languages. Incredibly smart people and very knowledgeable about what is occuring in the world. One of them about 15 yrs old, was singing to us a recent hit by Akon. I was ignorant to think that desert people had never listened to Hip Hop and R& B.

  During the ride we talked about life in spain(where one group was from) and life in nyc (where my two friends and I live).

We watched the sun set as we rode. It was beautiful indeed. Though i thought i was going to run out of water with the heat. I didnt though.

When we got to the camp the berbers prepared a dinner and then played music for us. The food was simple but delicious. The vegetables tasted like they had just picked them and the coucous was so airy. The tea was indeed tasty too. My best friend also the comedian of the crew asked if there was any camel in the soup as she did a lot in morocco. This made the berbers laugh. I, the inquisitive one asked about the preparation which the berbers were nice enough to explain.

Being somewhat of an arrogant westerner i thought to myself the soup could use a little more salt.

They had tents set up for us but my friend and i decided to sleep under the stars. The mattresses were very comfortable.More so than i expected. The desert was cold, like wear-your-sweater kind of cold. Not what I expected after the sweltering heat of the camel ride or for the middle of august. I had the best sleep of my life there.

A couple of the girls snickered when our tour guide informed us that there were no showers and that there was only a latrine available. I immediately felt dirty.

We also realized that we werent as far away from another camp as we thought. We heard music playing somewhere else..not that we could see where it was bc once again it felt like we were the only ones.

My best friend and I walked around the camp(not too far away) and did a parody of the blair witch project. It was true everything was eerie and looked the same. Fun times. If we had been really lost we would be in very big trouble.

By the time we got some sleep it was dead quiet. I sat there and marvelled at the beautiful clear sky. One of the berbers slept outside with us which made my best friend nervous but it turned out he was harmless. In fact all of the berbers were extremely respectful.

In the morning we watched the sunrise. Interesting phenomenon to see both the moon and the sun out at the same time. I tried taking pictures of this but it did not work. The breakfast was simple but tasty. Moroccan Pancakes and orange jelly. My favorite!

I was almost a bit nostalgic as we left the desert. This place had truly grown on me. I could see why the berbers love it.
Summary: Erg Chebbi Best time of my life ever.

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Erg Chebbi
photo by: wagslikeadog