The Stunning Sahara Desert

The first desert city we reached was Ait Benhaddou.

2013-03-05 11.01.32The same eight families have been living in these ancient mud walls since the 17th century. If you visit this city, resist all urge to be friendly. Everyone who said hi to us expected us to pay them for a tour.

This city was used for the filming of The Mummy, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and Prince of Persia (just to name a few). It’s strange to walk through the exotic city and have it still feel familiar because I’ve seen in so much on the big screen.

2013-03-06 04.31.14We stayed at a beautiful hotel that overlooked the ksar.

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The hotel even provided some pretty interesting and unexpected reading material!

The next day we were back on the road for another four hours, heading towards the border of Algeria. The further we drove the more desolate the environment became. I remember seeing some villages with only ten houses and wondering how people survive that way. Then we reached our camel camp!

2013-03-06 12.27.58I didn’t think it was possible to get further from civilization  but it felt like we were the only humans left on the planet. We rode these amazingly uncomfortable animals for two hours straight. It was just us and our Berber tour guide. After you get over the discomfort of the camel hump digging into your crotch, the desert becomes an incredibly meditative place. It’s so quiet you can hear the sand blowing off the dunes. With every gust of wind the entire landscape changed.

2013-03-06 12.16.50We reached our camp just before sunset!

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Our private camp!

Our private camp in the middle of nowhere.

Inside our traditional Berber tent

Inside our traditional Berber tent

It even had a bathroom!

It even had a bathroom!

We spent a lot of time running on the sand dunes before dinner.

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Our bountiful meal

Our bountiful meal

Our tour guide played drums for us after dinner, and described what it was like growing up as a nomad.

Our tour guide played drums for us after dinner, and described what it was like growing up as a nomad.

We woke up to watch the sunrise. We were surrounded by pink, glowing sand, but the camera couldn’t capture it’s magnificence 😦2013-03-07 02.05.19

4 comments

  1. Gorgeous! Amazing! Stunning! What a trip, I’m just a weee-bit jealous. Okay, fine, a LOT jealous!!!! Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos from your trip, the desert is incredible. WOW. =)

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