Trip to Sahara – Day II.
We woke up in a cold room, each of us under the two heavy camel blankets. When traveling together, we are almost always full of excitement, not just because of exploring new places, but mostly because we are finally together. This is main reason why we are waking up early, so we do not waste a single minute we can spend with each other. Quality time means for everyone something else. For Sisway is quality time represented with days, when we wake up with the sunrise and talk all day long. All topics involved. This approach makes us to understand each other better and become compassionate with each other. Unfortunately, there is no time for talking today. Our dad taught us to arrive 10 minutes earlier to every occasion, and this morning is not an exception. Packed, dressed and excited, arriving to the place where we had dinner with the rest of the group members yesterday. No one is here yet so I suggest to go to have a look at the surrounding landscape, since arriving after sunset haven’t gave us chance to enjoy the view. Landscape I am looking at is impossible to describe. We are in the middle of majestic mountains resembling fingers to me. However, Nika disagrees with my opinion. The size of the mountains stays the same but the red color of mountains remains the same.
Half of our Sahara expedition crew is missing, because they were left in the hotel in the previous village yesterday. The first stop of today is after half an hour in a small hotel in the beginning of the canyon. While we are waiting for the rest of the group, we are getting to know our new Spanish friend Aurora and showing her “penguin dance”, we plan to perform in the Sahara, while dancing around the fire, and looking at the full moon, which is going to take place exactly tonight. What a magical time. When we are all ready, we can start the second day of our three-day coexistence. Companies offer in general a lot of variations when buying a desert trip. But to be honest, it all depends on your luck. You never know in advance what you buy, or if the seller of the tour knows what he is selling. Depending on which driver you are assigned, your next experience will be influenced by. Our driver is a very kind, elderly gentleman whose name I don’t remember, but I can always recognize him in the crowd thanks to the scar in his nose. “Do you think someone has ripped his piercing out?” Niki asks. “Probably…” I answer and imagine different scenarios that could escalate in such a scar. But I can’t think of anything more reasonable…
Our first stop is a city in the middle of nowhere – Tinghir. We get a guide that we don’t have to pay for. He takes us to the village (perhaps to fill the time), shows us the kasbah (traditional 3-4 generation berber houses) and explains the basic differences between Berber, Tuareg and Bedouin, who all live in this area. He encourages us to ask him questions because he doesn’t like boring people. So we ask, “Do you wear this suit even if you don’t accompany guests?” and he admits that he is taking off the top coat and the turban. We are asking a lot of questions, because we are very curious. He explains, there is free land in Morocco, so if you want to build a house, you just have to write to the “Mayor”, who is responsible for the territory and once he agrees you can start to build. For the construction they use all the natural materials that nature offers. And what about the workforce? Everyone in the village knows one another and helps each other. So building a house is basically completely free. I immediately imagine Morocco is place on the Earth where I can afford to build a house.
After our guide gives us all some Berber names (he is probably doing it with all tourists), he takes us to a traditional Moroccan dwelling where business people live. They are producing carpets. The famous ones with which many people bring home with them. For the first time in our lives, we see how yarn is made from camel and sheep wool. Unbelievable, we have not seen it in Slovakia even if it belongs to our traditions and culture. The landlord gives us a lecture while we sit on the benches surrounding the room. We get a lesson on how women give a man the carpet where everything they want to tell him is woven. Whether they agree with polygamy, from what family they are, what they like. All this can be read from the way the carpet is woven. We slowly come to the point that the most beautiful women are being married to the richest men. In the Moroccan countryside, it works like that until these days. After the lecture, which carpet is suitable for making children and which for the welcoming guests, we are offered traditional mint tea, while landlord hopes someone will buy something. However, no one is interested… We are moving into jewelry production, which reminds me of an antique museum. The dusty things found around the village don’t interest anyone either, and our excursion ends here. At the end, I am told that all the camels of the desert would not be enough if this landlord would like to marry me. Compliment of the century received, we can continue in our journey.
The next scheduled stop is a huge canyon Todra. When buying tickets, we were told we can cross the river and we hike there. We immediately imagine our ultra adventurous experience from Wadi Mujib. Oh YES, We both are looking forward as small kids. We are coming to a place which is magical, the rocks are huge, and I get scared for a second, “what if a rock breaks and falls on us?” You know as in the FINAL DESTINATION movie. No rock falls are happening, we take pictures and get a little disappointed, because our break lasts for poor 6 minutes. It is not enough for a proper photo, neither to take a deep breath to enjoy the atmosphere, nothing. However, we do not want our expectations to destroy this moment, so in our best faith we use a short time to take a photo of an older Moroccan man with our instax, and giving it to him. His smile is worth all the disappointment. After all, we got exactly what we were promised. We went into the canyon; we got into the water… No one is responsible for our high expectations caused by our previous experiences. One of the very nice examples how our expectations can affect our reality.
We are now getting into the van as the last ones, which is not really usual. We barely get on, and we are already moving. Observing landscape behind the window car, we pass through the most beautiful mountains and oases. Dusty rocks alternate with palm trees and we finally understand how life arises in the desert. In the cracks where the water found its way and the sun did not get, the crevasse remained dry and trees could begin to grow in there. Almost all the oases I saw in Morocco were in cracks. Imagine a huge hole in a pure sandy land and life in there. Trees, water, and houses built on its walls. Too bad we didn’t stop at these places to take a picture for you. But sometimes imagination is enough, so imagine
Since we landed in Morocco, we spent every day, at least 7 hours in the van, moving from one place to another. Today the journey is more exhausted because it is already the third day. Third day we have to adapt to the road and the limited breaks we have on it for food and toilets. In our lives we are used to eat when we are hungry or when we think it is the right time to eat. The same applies especially for using the toilet. The limited diet starts to be reflected in the energy of all the passangers. The last drive takes more than 3 hours without a break, but at least we are finally approaching Merzouge – a desert city.