We are in the real Sahara Desert.
It’s hard to describe, you can just live it.
We are in M’hamid, the desert gate, and we spend here a night before to go in the really Sahara desert, this village seems a real border post.
Our evening arrival, just during a sandstorm, making our approach even more surreal. This is the Sahara Desert.
The Sahara Services Kasbah, located right near the desert, is a relaxing and organized place.
The place is perfect inserted into the environment due to its style of construction…
Kasbah has all amenities to make your stay very special.
Attention to every details: from breakfast to dinner.
Also to the external typical accommodations on border of Sahara Desert.
The sun cooks the streets and maybe even a little bit the people who live in these areas so extreme. The off-road stop here for final checks and the last supplies and create a strong contrast with the locals.
Here we see the first camels… not. Dromedaries! We going out of the town and, almost without realizing it, we are in the desert.
Our first approach with sand dunes is beautiful and Valeria will not stop screaming, at every jolt of the car, as she’s having fun.
Our destination is the camp of Sahara Services near Erg Chigaga. It is a few hours of off-road from M’hamid.
The kilometers are not many, but of course the speed in the desert aren’t the normal ones.
It’s amazing as our guide turns around the highest dunes to search the best way to cross.
He seems follow a direction to be only in his mind, in this desert land for us so fascinating but all same and without any point of reference.
We observe and photograph everything. we are litterally enraptured by all flows beneath our eyes.
At one point in the middle of nowhere, there are two donkeys. Do you know why?
Because there is a hole. Only a few meters of deep, in this sandy and stony surface that seems to never seen the water over thousands of years, there is a hole where people stop, pull out the fresh water, drink and make stocks.
Rachid, our guide, invited us to drink, but we limit ourselves – of course – to freshen up. Our intestines are certainly not equipped with the apropriate antibodies as theirs.
We know that our water plastic bottles pollute a lot and that here, as unfortunately in many other countries of world, there isn’t any form of protection of enviroment, but for us tourist it’s absolutely essential to use that.
The only thing we can do is to bring our garbage in urban areas to hope (vain?!?) that the waste disposal is more appropriate.
We continue our journey with a lot of funny people that we meet in the desert. In the desert, away from any form of what we call “civilization” or town, soon we reach the Oasis Sacred.
The contrast of this green, these palm trees, these life that explode with a source of water is what is most interesting. The frogs swim in the source and we know that the word “frog” is pratically the same in Italian and in Arabic.
Unfortunately we can’t visit the oasis. It’s a settlement of a nomadic people who erected high walls to defend and the gate is closed off. We don’t understand if in this moment there is someone inside or not.
We see away the sand dunes that rise hight. Our guide look me smiling and asked me: “Now we are in the soft sand, do you want to try to drive?”
I assure you that it doesn’t seem me real!
As you know I love drive and I love to do it in all most difficult conditions, but despite my insistence of a few hours before and especially if I consider the astonished face of Rachid at my request to try to drive, I don’t believe that he permit me to try drive! I’m also a women!
Driving in a soft sand is really… wonderfulllllllll!!! Altough I must admit that it’s not easy as it seems.
It’ will be a matter of latitudes, but I’ve done faster to learn to drive in the ice of Finland. The car swerves irregulary and tackle the smaller sand dune it’s very difficult each time.
You must accelerate to climb, but at the right time – and definition of “right time” is the true problem – you have to leave for not getting too fast down without knowing what’s on the other side and not too fast to not risk to stop before reaching the top of the dune.
Rachid is very patient, laughing soft and doesn’t speak even when I make some stupid things. After half hour I’m feel a good driver and, exaggerating with my safety, what I do? I create a problem! Our jeep is inexorably locked in the sand! All while my daughter screams from the back seat: “Mom! You’re good driver! I didn’t think so!”
I try to get out but I cause only one result: our jeep is still more locked and the only movement is down. I looked disconsolate Rachid and I tell him that is better that he drives. Rachid doesn’t appear worried, but I never be stop here, for a few hours, with this responsability.
With a little hard work, but very quickly, he able to resolve the situation.
I’d like to drive again, but I think that is better that I don’t ask again!
In a few minutes we arrive at Sahara Services’s camp. It’s amazing to see in the dunes, in the middle of nowhere, an organization of this kind.
The tents are of the fixed model and each has a private bathroom, there is even the beautiful iron bed inside!
A large open tent allow to relax admiring the dunes and enjoying the providential shadow (it’s really hot for us, but for them it’s still winter and they wear warm clothes).
Another big tent is for eating. It’s a real luxury camp.
They served us the berber’s whisky: hot mint tea. Valeria, in a very short time, is already full immersed in the sand.
She immediately running on top of the dunes to roll completely herself in the sand.
The camp also has several camels for excursion. Is possible to booked to go comfortably to watch the sunset or the sunrise from the dunes or even to spend the night outdoors under the sky and the stars in the nothing, only with a carpets on the sand.
A wonderful experience that unfortunately we don’t have time to do.
A little relax during the hottest hours and, at the approach of sunset, we go to the top of dunes.
The landscape that we admire at the top is truly amazing.
The dunes seems almost endless. At one side the mountains with their military positions for the “dispute border” with Algery and in the other side this infinite landscape of soft dunes.
Lying up here to admire the view for hours.
The colors are lovely and the landscape is wonderful!
As soon as the sun go down dunes, the shadow fall over us, it’s very cold in a moment.
In the desert we suffer hot for 12 hours and cold for other 12.
There isn’t a medium temperature really comfortable.
So, soon, we come back to the camp. Do you know how nice to run down the dunes? You must try! Maybe not up and down a thousand times as she does!
Night falls at camp and the atmosphere in this place it’s really magical.
Of course tha camp equipped with lighting but the lamp and the fire is particular. They served again tea.
The dinner was delicious as always (you eat really well in Morocco) and after dinner the party. Fire in the middle of camp and drum’s rhythm, music and singing.
We don’t want to go to sleep.
But it will be only for a few hours. we don’t want lost the sunrise from the top of the dunes!
So… go to sleep under the very warm blankets that we need.
A few hours and one day is going to get here, in this remote camp. Mom!!! What my face!!! You can see that I slept only a few hours!
It’s still cold, the sand is very cold, but the show of nature with its explosion of colors, so different from sunset, it’s wonderful.
Despite the few hours of sleep, Valeria hasn’t run out her battery! But how is possible???
A breakfast in this luxurious accomodation and go! We continue our tour.
A break for some pictures without perspective that we like so much while Rachid don’t understand a lot and we go towards the Iriki lake.
It’s a big dry area that only once every several years, when it rains, is flooded and becames a lake. The most interesting thing is the phenomenon that is created here. Approaching in the distance, it seems a real lake with a huge mass of water.
Valeria doesn’t remember to see a similar effect and she repeating that it’s a really water. Here fata Morgana really gives the sensation of being in front of a lot of water. When, in the evidence, she convinced herself that isn’t really, in the following days, every time she see in the distance a river or a lake, the scene is always the same: after watching a lot, she ask all times doubtfully, “but it’s really water or not?”.
Our journey proceed quickly between life’s scenes and varying landscape.
We arrive quickly to Ouarzazate where we ends our wonderful experience with Sahara Services, we say hello to Rachid and our journey continues, but only after a small relax!
Here is our complete tour of 2013 in Morocco.
For more information:
SAHARA SERVICESMhamid B.P. 20 GPS N29º49.517, W5º43.205
Tel. +212 (0) 661 – 77 67 66, Fax +212 (0) 524 – 84 80 26 Marrakech Imm. Moutassali, Appt. 38 (4th floor) 88 Bd. Zerktouni
GPS N31°38.242, W08°00.731
Tel. +212 (0) 524 – 42 06 73, Mobil +212 (0) 661 – 77 67 66
Internet site: www.saharaservices.info