Sahara

We rose early enough to see the sunrise and then, after breakfast drove farther out into the desert to visit a desert farm and to meet our morning ride. We wondered how one could farm in this environment but the farm was actually quite productive thanks to a well and good irrigation system.  The farmer was not at home when we arrived, probably at the market selling his dates but we did walk through his bountiful garden where eggplant, peppers, cotton, date palms and pomegranates grew looking healthy and well watered.

Near the farm is where enjoyed an opportunity to travel the desert the traditional way—on the back of a camel. For more than an hour we wandered up and down the dunes on the back of these gentle giants led by Berber cameleers. It was a really wonderful experience, once we relaxed, it was surreal, peaceful and so beautiful, like a dream.

nancy-george

After lunch we traveled to Khamlia, a remote desert village renowned for the ritual music of the Gnawa musicians and had the great privilege of hearing them perform their melodic chants and rhythms.

Traditional Gnawa Instrument

Traditional Gnawa Instrument

By the time we returned to camp the blue sky had turned hazy and wind had picked up; we were experiencing a uniquely desert phenomenon, a sand storm. It was a mild one but did necessitate closing up the tents to keep the sand out making it stifling hot inside. We rested as best we could and finally faces covered we headed to the dining tent where it was a little cooler.

Carpets that had been put out in the middle of the camp so we could sleep under the stars were now covered in sand as was everything else so no sleeping under the stars for us, it would have been fun and the night sky is amazing.

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