We decided to spend a night in the desert during our trip to Morocco, and it was breathtaking.
When I initially booked the trip and saw the option of camel trekking, I thought it would be an easy short camel ride (you know, those 'tourist rides') to the campsite. Little did I realize it was an actual trek, and we were on those camels for a good 90 minutes with our Berber guide, surrounded by nothing but sand.
Being on a camel isn't easy. They look cute, and they definitely look pretty graceful as they're gliding across the sand, but sitting on the saddle on one hump definitely isn't the most comfortable place to be. Add that to ascending and descending sand dunes and you have a pretty bumpy ride. That said, it was just part of the experience - and it really made me think about the nomads in the olden days who had to spend months trying to cross the desert.
There's something primal about the desert.
Perhaps it's the aloneness, and the vastness of the place, and how deserted it seems. We were on our camels for a good hour between the hotel and our campsite, with no view of any other people. If our guide had a heart attack and died, we would have been stranded with no idea where to go. It also seems like the guides have a strange sense of humour, making jokes about the possibility of getting lost and ending up on the Algerian border (apparently Morocco and Algeria have some political disputes going on).
But lose yourself in the ride, and experience the silence of the desert. Experience the amazing sunset across the red sands, and watch how the colours of the sands grow deeper the further in you go. While we all started the ride chatting to each other, we spent the latter half in silence, just absorbing the scenery.
Once we arrived to our campsite, we were greeted with the unfortunate news that the generators were down. To be honest, it wasn't too much of a big deal.
We still got fed, and the Berbers still got out their drums and played some rhythms for us, and we ended up dancing underneath the stars.
And the stars!
What can I say?
I've never seen so many stars in my life.
Our guide grabbed a blanket and brought us further away from camp for some stargazing, He made us a Berber pillow, essentially where they shape the sand like a pillow to lie on, and we just watched the Milky Way in all its glory, and perhaps, even saw a shooting star.
Would I recommend the trip?
It's an unmissable experience - a must do, even if it's just once in your life. There's something about the desert that's entirely captivating, that feeds your soul in a way I cannot explain with words.
Don't take my word for it. Experience it for yourself.