Morocco: Erg Chebbi
After a wonderful buffet lunch at the oasis, we continued our journey to Erg Chebbi. Back on the 4x4s we caravan towards the sand dunes. I truly thought we were close enough to start our camel ride to the dunes, but I was mistaken. Again, we rode for what seemed like an hour before we stopped at a random house in the middle of nowhere. The guide led us to a tent like set up outside the house. This was I believe used for "outside seating". The ground is covered with rugs and the cover was made of heavy fabric that did not allow for sun rays to pass through.
Here we were all asked to sit and relax a bit. The guide started telling us stories of Berber life and how slowly but surely the traditional lifestyle is changing and that the new generation is embracing the modern lifestyle and opting to live and work in big cities like Marrakech.
All of a sudden, the homeowner and her daughter brought out mint tea and almonds for snacks. We are guessing this is a pre-arranged stop and that all these hospitality is staged, but we are told that this is how the Berbers go about their living. They have set up tents outside their homes for any traveler who needs a little respite away from the sun and the traveler automatically becomes a guest and thus is served with refreshments.
We welcomed the mint tea and the almonds, although we were still full from the lunch. The surroundings we surveyed briefly, long enough to take photos and stretch our legs. Here it was breezy making it easy to be under the sun.
Back to the 4x4s we went. On this drive, we saw more sand dunes and we were driving close to them. We saw many already starting their camel rides and I was sure that we were very near.
However, I remember that on a brief overview of the day, our guide told us to bring swimsuit so that we can take a refreshing dip in the pool. I honestly thought that the pool was in the oasis, I was wrong.
When the vehicles stopped it was in front of another kasbah-style resort/hotel - in the desert - across from the sand dunes. Here we were given an hour or so to relax - again! - and perhaps take that refreshing dip in the pool. We were ushered in the building next to the pool. It was a huge space with a bar on the one end and a more intimate seating area at the other end.
Part of our "package" was a free drink at the bar. One drink per person. We can buy the next drink if we opted. A few of us made use of the pool, others went around the resort. Majority of us stayed inside in the AC and caught up with emails back home. I reviewed the photos on the camera and deleted those that were blurry.
An hour or so later, we were again being loaded in the vehicle. This time it was to drive closer to the sand dunes and begin our sunset ride to the Sahara.
Here we go!
OUR WORLD TUESDAY