I’m a child of the 1960’s. I grew up with Bugs Bunny and Weekly Reader and World Book Encyclopedia. Even with my great imagination, I couldn’t have dreamed that “someday” I could spend the night in a tent in the Sahara Desert. That’s the stuff Olin the movies. But I did.
Your Fearless Leader is in Morocco. Hubby, Doug, and I are checking out a possible trip for our Good to Go travelers. I’m always more confident in endorsing a tour if I’ve had the chance to experience it myself. Morocco is full of color, and tastes, textures and smells.
Like I’ve lamented about many of my worldly adventures, I don’t remember learning much about the history of this African country. What I knew I probably picked up from Bugs Bunny, Weekly Reader, and the World Book.
But this week, I was Queen of the Desert. I lived Aladdin. I used words like oasis, caravan, and sand dunes like they were my everyday vocabulary. I was there.
The landscape of Morocco changed drastically as we departed the ancient city of Fez and crossed the Atlas Mountains.
The high altitude took us through snow covered vistas into tall cedar forests where tailless monkeys hopped from limb to limb. The road snaked its way down the mountain and a very few hours later we were in the desert. This is the land of the Berber people.
We traveled by 4x4 to get to our camel camp. There we climbed onto the more saddle blanket than saddle, of these knobby kneed, snaggle toothed, shaggy beasts of burden.
We plodded across red dune after red dune headed for a high spot to watch the sun set. The photo opportunities were endless as the sun made our shadows as interesting as our images.
The only signs of life besides us is the shiny scarab beetle leaving little stitch-like prints in the soft sand. Our camels kneel and we slide off. We sit side by side on the crest of the dune as the huge, bright sun dips beyond more red dunes.
The sand is like cinnamon sugar, incredibly soft, but doesn’t stick. The color of the sky plays over the texture of the desert that is rearranged everyday by the wind. I pinch myself, I can’t believe I’m here.
We caravan back to our camp for the night. Our dozen tents are circled around thick carpets and a log fire. We sit on hassocks and enjoy local musicians and food. It’s more than a five star hotel, it’s a million star hotel, as the clear night sky was breath taking.
We were awakened by the rattle of bells and camels protesting. We crawled out from under the warm, heavy duvets to take a short hike to watch the sun make it’s appearance in the eastern sky while the moon was hovering above us in the west.
It was magical. Just like a movie.
Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.