Yes we are going camping and sleeping in tents! Did you know the Sahara desert in North Africa is almost the size of Canada, over 9 million square kilometers! Oh and another little morsel of fascinating info, pardon the pun.. dessert and desert, the yummy one always has two helpings of ssssssss’s, and you’re welcome : ) And so it is that I am a little apprehensive but also kinda excited too for this camping trip. Being a camper from the seventies, that number is also catching up to my age.
Are we sleeping on the ground on mattresses, (if so, I’ll need a sky hook to fetch me up come daybreak) bathroom facilities, outhouses (Canadian) or out-door toilets (American) what about showers? Funny but I wasn’t worried about scorpions but getting up in the night to pee worried me? Will there be wash basins for us to wash up in the morning, how are we going to blow dry our hair? Lastly, are you ready for this one.. “do the snakes crawl at night” ok sorry/not sorry..
Yes, yes and yes again to all of the above (we have a toilet and a shower and running water).. no snakes, but pack a little led flashlight in your purse, it could come in handy. The tent city experience was at the end of a long days journey featuring a convoy of white land rovers, racing (yes they tried beating each other to get ahead) through the atlas mountains. We made our way through small medinas and winding down impossibly narrow streets to shooting out into the vast open desert full of hills and dunes to a paved road.. no less!
Our driver, we nicknamed Mario, (yep after the racer) probably knew I was a little excited for this part of the trip and he did not disappoint. This safari of Land Rovers will surely beat any camel ride or even a 100 freaking camel rides, trust me on this You will wish you had taken a camel by the time you arrive at your destination!
I was a young and enthusiastic traveler when I got into that rover (the enthusiastic part is true).. but I came out an old, beaten lady, thanking the lord for the “Oh Shit Handles” they install on the top inside of the side windows! We went around sharp bends in the mountain roads with no guardrails and sheer drop offs and, and, OMG.. it was insane, and I’m glad I had a will in place before I left.
We did lose a land rover along the way somewhere, but thank goodness for cell phones eh? We were able to get them back on track with us, after much confusion and backtracking.. ah well I wanted adventure and I got it.. in spades no less! For some strange reason I am craving a cigarette right now, Jesus, I quit smoking in 2005. Well recalling that experience certainly got my heart pumping and my blood pressure rising, I could really smoke the piss outta a cigarette right now.. just sayin..
We arrive to much fanfare of drums and fire torches and a whole bunch of Berber nomads waiting to dress, feed, water (alcohol) and entertain us. We were certainly ready for this after that grueling trip. I feel like we were in the amazing race and this was our pit stop for the night. Whole lambs were slowly cooking in pits, belly dancers were in the wings and the male Berber dancers were tuned up and ready.. bring it on.
We ate and drank and partied like a nomad.. that ½ lamb at each table was the best I have ever tasted. They encouraged us to eat it all without lingering because it was best hot! The drinking continued and the belly dancers sporting lit candles on their headdresses gave a performance or two. The Berbers male dancers not to be outdone.. went ahead and outdid themselves.
All this was a lead-in to the fire performers and a grand finally that I will post here and you need to watch to the end. I turned in early and when my head hit that soft pillow I was done! I remember hearing the thumping music through-out the night and wondered who in our group could party that long? Turns out it was another encampment miles away. I loved the tent and the ambiance and everything about this experience. I wish we had more time here.
A full moon smiled down upon us that evening while a sunrise like no other enticed me out of bed and into the desert morning. I am in the Sahara desert, I slept in a tent and now handsome young Berber men are fetching me coffee. Well.. ok it is for everyone and I had to fetch it myself.. but who cares, breakfast is on as I wander slowly up to the main tent..
life is good and I am living my best life .. #lmbl