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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 13 Aug 2009

Location: Sahara, Morocco

MapSaturday night in Marrakesh after eating a delicious meal in the square with our new British friends I finally got to hold my monkey. Ameen ( our hotel guy) took us out to a local bar with a bunch of his friends, 2 of which were cops. The bar was nothing like we d ever experienced. Cameras were forbidden so unfortuneately we have no pics. Instead of a DJ there was live music with a man on an electric keyboard and a few people singing very loudly. Imagine? we were told that all of the local girls at the bar were prostitutes. There was all kinds of weird dancing that involved a shooing away hand action and hip movements. Men would dance together in circles and the beer was hella expensive. At one point a song came on and all the girls started spinning their heads like a reggae video, interesting. Didn t get home til the wee hours and had to leave at 630am for our desert trip. Woke up sweating to our alarm only to realize that the electricity in the entire medina was out. Frantically tried to pack all of our belongings in the dark, not fun. Managed to get to the tour just in time and were off.

Our trip included 12 others; 3 dutch that we spent most of our time with, a polish couple living in Ireland- we liked them too, 3 Italians ( didn t speak a lick of English but one was surely rocking a Raptors cap reppin for Bargniani, yeah, yeah), an emaciated Spanish couple also little English and a snootty French couple from Martinique. The first day we scored front seats and kept them for the entire 3 days. This meant cool air, lots of leg space, interesting chats with our wonderful driver Mohammed and a good view. Go Weinstein, go! During our three day adventure we saw 100 's of Kasbahs (old school villages?) cool gorges, extraordinary ever changing landscape ( as we drove through the high Atlas mountains), lush valleys and much more. Spent the first night at a cozy lodge in the Dades valley. Then it was off to the Todra valley where there was fresh running water to dip our feet into. I swam with the
locals and we had some lunch. As we approached Merzouga, the temperature crept up considerably. At one point we had to off road for 14km and things got ugly. Our mini bus strted overheating so off went the AC and it was the longest 14km we ever experienced at 47 degrees, hot oven wind blowing in our faces. The desert was stunning with huge sand dunes and reddish/orange sand. We were loaded onto camels and lead into the open Sahara. it was painful but the breathtaking scenery made up for it all. we watched the sunset from the top of a sand dune and I tried to roll down. They had set up traditonal Berber tents for us to sleep in but it was waay too hot and we opted for the great outdoors instead. We were a little intrepid after Saf spotted a SCORPION a few cms away. Imagine? !! Immediate action was taken by our guides who proceeded to wallop and smash the creature and carried it away with sticks. All the while telling us there was nothing to fear. We were served dinner and many joined in on music jam with drums and a digiridoo. Sleeping under the stars was very peaceful and it was very warm until about 5am when the temerature dropped dramatically. At sunrise we rode back to civilization and prepped for our 12 hour ride back to Marrakesh. After draining both of our ipods, numerous word and singing games we finally arrived in Marrakesh at 930pm. We've never been so happy to bathe. Planning to leave Marrakesh today to spend some time in Nature. Our next big city stop is Fes. The adventure continues

Saf and T