30 Aug Morocco | Sahara

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I’m still blown away by the featured picture on top. That young Berber we just met a day before walking lonely with his camels and slowly zoomed out from our sight… that scene marked the end of our Sahara experience.  It’s that morning Will and I were watching sunrise together at the Sahara dessert…watching the sun over the horizon gradually formed an orange blush over the sand dunes at dawn. It’s so hard to say goodbye to this beautiful place.

We didn’t begin our day smoothly as I couldn’t get enough the sleep the night before we headed to the desert.  I booked a luxurious Riad – Dar Roumana and even took the nicest room on the floor. The shower worked so bad that I already didn’t get a proper shower.  Then there were dogs barking non stop for 2 hours outside at 4am and I waked up very cranky.  I was also very surprised they wouldn’t offer us breakfast at the dining room at 6ish in the morning, we only managed to get a very simple breakfast with some fruits and yogurt to go in a plastic bag. Even the budget Riad – Dar Bensouda we were staying was able to set up a poolside breakfast at around the same time for us, I’m not sure why Dar Roumana couldn’t do it. We had dinner also the night before, the meal was great but that wouldn’t make up to the lack of details and touches that a so-called luxurious hotel should provide.

Our driver came to pick us up at 7am and he’s very surprised nobody was there to open the door. I went speechless when I found out that the housekeeper expected we would manage everything ourselves….I mean simply for security purposes, as a hotel guest I shouldn’t open a door for a stranger right??

Jamal our driver later asked me why I picked this Riad, I just said it’s like the top hotel on the tripadvisor and booking.com site. He didn’t quite say much more. I briefly mentioned I didn’t feel secured around that area for some reasons. He said ya…actually he said the edge of the Medina was not as safe as the centre, he probably wouldn’t recommend tourists staying there.

It’s a very long drive (8 hours) but Jamal was just very welcoming and fun to talk to. Only that he told me he’s actually not our main guide of the trip, another driver would continue the trip with us. It’s so sad that he needed to leave us behind because he’s the tour guide I wished I had hired. 4 hours later Jamal dropped us off and Manoj another driver came to pick us up and continue the ride. Manoj was a very different type of person and he’s also the driver who gave us the ride to Chefchaouen.

He’s a very responsible driver I would say and he did a very good job to explain everything about his country. We were very enthusiastic about Sahara and would love to hear more but sometimes we just need a little time to take a nap. He would literally wake me up even when there’s nothing to see and nothing he needed to tell us about. I understood he felt a bit intimidating by me falling asleep (gosh..but Will stayed up for almost the long ride)  but I was very very tired and I just needed that nap before we hopped on the camel trek to desert camp. Is it a culture difference or what? I didn’t know but Jamal didn’t seem to have an issue with me. Now you probably know how disappointed I was when I knew Jamal was not our guide coming with us. After almost a full day of driving, we finally arrived Erg Chebbi.

My experience in the desert probably was very different from others. First of all, we were the very last ones to get onto the camels before the sun came down. We saw there was a large group of 20 people camel trekking like 50 feet in front of us and they look just like the way we saw in pictures. So cool!!! While Will and I were the only two left behind …I just said ok maybe we were exclusive and being managed to put into a very private tour.

The ride was very peaceful and the scene was absolutely breathtaking. I heard many others complained about how uncomfortable the camel trek was. No, I was perfectly fine and enjoyed the 45mins ride very much. I closed my eyes and sniffed the air….wow I couldn’t believe I made my dream came true.

We were brought to the desert camp finally and it didn’t look the way I wished. We had a peek of the desert camp that large group of tourists were staying, the set up was much nicer. Ours in comparison was very basic. Will said it’s getting dark and you couldn’t see much no matter how nice your tent was….haha

After we freshened up ourselves a little, I took Will outside and the most stunning sky with thousands of glittering stars were brought to our eyes. Wow, so that’s it, that’s how the sky looked like in Sahara. I brought Will to my dream destination and he finally realized why I wanted to come all the way here. Stargazing in Sahara is no longer a dream. “Thinking out loud”….I made many many wishes under the light of a thousand stars that night.

The camp we stayed was quite small and we introduced ourselves to the rest of people staying with us. Later I found out they were actually the TV crew Brabant Wereldwijd from Netherlands and they came to Morocco to film a travel TV show.  The conversation we had with them was truly inspiring and it’s much more valuable than I could imagine. Being a full time traveler is my dream and being able to speak to the ones who were able to work towards their dream is just unreal.

If I were able to choose again, I would much rather camp with this crew than that group of tourists in a fancy looking camp.

That night, cold enough but I slept very tight. My heart was warm and I hold Will very tight.

#跟著矛盾去旅行 之 跟一本書去撒哈拉

相片中的遊牧少年我們才認識一天,清晨日出他向我們道別後,獨自帶著佢養既駱駝回去,然後慢慢從我們的視線消失,果種感覺好震撼,彷彿我個夢要完結了。那個同雞仔一齊響沙漠上看既日出,相信一生都不會忘記。

夢一般既旅程其實一開始都唔係太順利。 本身我安排前一晚住一間比較豪些少既酒店Dar Roumana ,評分好高,點鬼知一D都好唔好住,我仲要比到最貴果間房。先唔講浴室花灑完全無力,水又漏到周圍都係,夜晚仲要不停有狗吠,搞到我無覺好訓,搞到個人都火火地。 第朝早起身仲要無得食佢個continental breakfast ,因為廚房未有人返工,下,都成6點幾都無得食,淨係話pack幾個生果麵包之類比我地上車食。 我之前幾晚住果間平價酒店,人地6點幾就響泳池邊整好曬早餐等我地,所以我唔知道點解Tripadvisor, Booking.com 會比呢間野0甘高評分!!! 一D高級酒店應該要有既完全都無。我地響酒店裡面等我地個司機導遊黎接我地,等極都唔見,後來發現原來7點前係完全無人做野,連搵個保安打雜開門都無,有無搞錯啊,就算為左安全,都無理由大安旨意住客亂開門比陌生人掛。

我地個司機大哥叫Jamal, 個樣成個Adam Sandler 0甘,沿途好鬼好傾,心想好野。。唔使再對住之前車我地去Chefchaouen 果位Manoj 。 點知Jamal 話其實係因為Manoj 要車另一對couple 返黎,半路先會合接返我地。 下,唔好啦~~~~ 其實Manoj個人就無0羊野仲好熱心,但佢完全唔比我響車上訓覺真係好鬼煩,成大半日車,我真係好留心聽佢既講解,而且雞仔都一路無訓過,佢就係就算無野講無野睇都不停叫醒響後坐既我,大佬啊,之前一晚已經無得訓,去到沙漠仲要騎駱駝訓帳幕,你放過我啦。。。。

聽住非洲音樂坐左成日8個鐘車,終於到左Erg Chebbi, 即係撒哈拉沙漠其中一處最大最高既沙丘,沙丘同沙漠唔係一樣既,唔係成個撒哈拉都有0甘高既沙丘,位於Merzouga 既Erg Chebbi就係最多遊客黎到欣賞浩瀚沙漠既一個地方。

我相信我地響沙漠兩日一夜camp 既經歷同其他人都好唔同,首先去到見到前面20米有一團人剛剛騎住駱駝出發好壯觀,何解得返我地兩丁友自己出發,人丁單薄,算啦,唯有安慰自己我地包左個私人團去沙漠營地啊嘛。

載我地既駱駝真係好乖,雖然話有遊牧少年帶路, 一路都比我想像中安全好多,當初以為好難騎,其實又唔係0窩。個心當時真係笑左出黎,沙漠既日落真係好靚,每分鐘沙漠隨住太陽落山跟著變色。果種難以形容既感動,我夢想要黎既地方而家就係包圍住我啦。唔經唔覺騎左9個字到左我地個營地啦,都真係好簡單下,比起隔離人地果個,人地果團既營地好靚架。是但啦,雞仔話入黑0羊都望唔到架啦。 係啦,都天黑啦,我急不及待拖左雞仔,叫佢快D抬頭望下個天。

好耐好耐之前,讀過一本書叫“一個人私奔”,從果時開始我就一直好渴望可以黎到撒哈拉睇星星,因為作者話過果度佢見過最多最光既星星。的而且確一抬頭我地都不約而同嘩左出黎,真係從來都未見過0甘多星星,仲好清楚見到銀河系,果晚我地見到好多次流星,許左好多個願望。。。

成個營地黑麻麻,又無其他娛樂,除左觀星就係同一齊住響同一個營地既朋友仔傾下偈。一講開先發現原來係對荷蘭黎既crew Brabant Wereldwijd,今次係黎摩洛哥唔係玩係黎拍旅遊節目,嘩0甘都比我遇到真係好有型,佢地分享當初係點樣由零開始拍片介紹旅遊地方,慢慢搵贊助商,到最後電視台都請左佢地仲比個節目佢地做,好似杜如風0甘。我覺得同呢D0甘積極向夢想邁進既人傾下偈真係好開心,當堂覺得個營地靚唔靚姐有0羊所謂,呢D經驗真係無價。

果晚其實都係訓得麻麻,因為好凍,不過個心好暖好滿足。

 

4 Comments
  • Carmen yeung
    Posted at 16:53h, 02 September Reply

    It is really a long way to Sahara desert, but it worth for everything. That why I love travel . I can change my mind and experience differently sometimes.

    • vivi
      Posted at 13:31h, 04 September Reply

      It’s a mind changing kind of experience and I appreciate this kind of cultural exchange way more than a shopping trip….

  • carine kim
    Posted at 06:02h, 06 November Reply

    Hi! I’m very inspired by your Morocco travel diary and am considering to go in a couple of months. Your desert pics are breathtaking and the riads you guys stayed look amazing! If it’s not too troublesome for you, can I get your recommendation on the local tour operator that took you into Sahara or if they didn’t meet your expecation, do you know if any alternatives? Thanks very much in advance!

    • vivi
      Posted at 11:13h, 06 November Reply

      Of course, we hired Morocco Countryside Tour and Said is the owner. I recommend if you can have him as your guide and driver as well. Also Jamal from Mint Tea Tours is another one I recommend. Jamal took us half way through Sahara and then another guy took it over. As I mentioned on my blog, I don’t particularly enjoy that he woke me up in the middle of a long ride while my hubby stayed up entirely talking to him in the vehicle. Hope that help… let me know if you have any other questions too

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