Back from the desert

July 5, 2011

So I’m not as good about posting on this blog as I originally intended since we are already half done(!!!!) with the class portion of my trip and I only have a handful of posts.   I blame my professors.

Anyway… We spent the weekend out in the desert.  We left friday right after class and took an 8 hour bus ride out to a resort where we spent the night drinking and swimming in the pool, which was a nice break from the usual grind.  The next morning we got back on the bus and headed to another hotel on the edge of the desert, where we swam a bit more and waited until the early evening to get onto camels.

If you’ve never ridden a camel before and you get the chance to, I’d probably tell you to try it once.  If you have ridden one, I suppose I don’t need to tell you not to do it again.

That's me on the left

We rode for two and a half or three hours through the desert.  Twice during the trip the camel belonging to my poor friend Jeff freaked the fuck out for no real reason and bucked him off.  The second time the camel ran off with all Jeff’s stuff still tied to it’s back and the Berber guide who was with our group ran after it yelling “jooj!” They finally recovered the camel and Jeff’s stuff and he had to get back on.  I don’t think I would have, and I was pretty much paralyzed with fear for the rest of my ride that I would be next.

We got to our campsite which was an oasis at the base of a huge dune.  I never really saw a map but based on travel time I guessed that we were pretty near the Algerian border.  We arrived just before dark and had a large dinner of Kefta and Eggs followed by sleep in Berber tents.

A Berber tent

Berber tent, interior.

It leaves a little to desire as far as interior decorating goes, but after the back of a camel’s head anything is a welcome sight.  The bed on the far left was mine, and actually one of the most comfortable beds I’ve slept in since arriving here in Morocco.  It was one of those nights where my head hit the pillow and I was out.  It felt like I blinked once or twice and my classmate was waking me up the next morning.  We actually got up at about 4:30 AM in order to climb the gigantic dune behind camp and watch the sun rise.

The Spice must flow

This was the view we had, with myself in the foreground and our camp in the background.  This is from about two thirds of the way up the dune.  Getting down the dune was much easier than getting up (I still have sand in my hair, shoes, and chest hair) and after that we got back on the camels.

More of this!

The idea that people actually did and still do cross the entire desert like this makes my crotch hurt.  The whole thing struck me as being a bit touristy, but I still had a lot of fun.  After the camels we got back on the bus for about 11 hours(!) and headed back to Fes, where our teachers reminded us that we had homework due at 8 AM the next day, followed by an exam.  God damnit.

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4 Responses to “Back from the desert”

  1. Jay W. Neff Says:

    It looks like it was great fun, except for the homework and exam part. Still, it will be an experience you will remember all of your life.

  2. AB Says:

    Jordan, you crack me up!! You probably will be bringing the sand home with you, too! What an adventure, I am envious!


    • Yeah it’s really fine too, so I’ve showered twice and still every time i scratch my head i get more sand under my nails. Where is it all? And how much was in there to begin with?

      Seriously SO MUCH SAND.

  3. Mona Says:

    Jordan – about the home work and exam part of your trip to morroco ~ a little bribe will get you top marks – ( it is always done in the Arab countries _ lol lol


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