Oh Sahara, my Sahara..
I remember you crystal clear. Once my friend told me “if you look at the view ten seconds without blinking, your mind saves it and whenever you want to see it all you need to do is close your eyes. And here it is like a post-card in front of you.” And I did it; I looked at those gorgeous sands of desert and I saved it forever.
Let’s talk about the journey now. We went there 5 girls with the tour. I enjoyed every bit of it though it was ”tour thing.” We paid for whole journey and it was JUST 600 Moroccan Dirhem/ 52,46 EUR and 250 Turkish LIRA (transfer to Sahara + one night accommodation in hotel + dinner and breakfast and another night in Sahara + dinner there + other tours before Sahara: like Ouarzazat + Ait Ben Haddou + transfer to return home). For those who earn Euro.. Come on guys! It is LITERALLY nothing for YOU haha! A small bus took us on a Friday morning to the city center and we waited there for the REAL bus which will be OUR bus for the whole trip. After an hour we were on the road finally. It was not crowded on the bus; 15 people and ALL international which I love.
Our first destination was Al Haouz, it is nothing special we just stopped for the view and to take some pictures (typical tour thing). Then we were on our ways to Ait Ben Haddou where a lot of famous movies were filmed like Gladiator, Game of Thrones, Jesus of Nazareth, What a Girl Wants and Lawrence of Arabia. Most people have been there because of the famous tv show “Game of Thrones”, but I am not most people haha. I haven’t watched that show though.
Anyway, our guide who was also NOMAD welcomed us when we got off of the the bus. He saw me in my Moroccan dress and in that typical turban of Nomads and he thought I was Moroccan and he named me Fatima :D. He took me as his wife in a second with others permission easily. He had a good sense of humor and he looked like a real NOMAD to me.
He took us to the real area and explained all the things about Nomads. What actually it means and what they did do back in time and whatnot. Where they shot those films and stuff, it was home for those people for real. They made their own food and planted their own food and knitted their own clothes. There were no electricity, so no fridge, no washing machine, no phone, no internet, NOTHING! But they had something, they had love and humanity and belief.. Still, there are few families live there and work like in the old time. I was touched by the history and I remembered our woman in the Southern of Turkey back in time: they were just like this. Especially women! They used to do all the workings on the farm and all the cooking and all the caring. While he was explaining there was a girl who came to pick up the corns which were grown. We saw them in our own eyes. I was emotional for real. I could not erase this imagine from my mind. I am glad I can’t though. It taught me something, something that internet could not teach, and that is the best part of traveling I guess. Seeing things through local’s eyes and being to the places there no tourist’s feet have touched..
This place was really beautiful, all reddish and unique in its own way. We went to the top and see the beauty of it from there again. This place was also famous for weaving carpet and drawing gorgeous pictures on fire. Yeah, we saw it all. We experienced it all during the trip. I saw how that “cool” guy drew camel picture just putting in on the fire and I got amazed one more time. After that we listened to another NOMAD who weaves millions of different carpets and explained us the background of the patterns on them. I still remember the sign for happiness in their language. It was everywhere, because they are HAPPY PEOPLE. They are indeed.
Our last destination before hotel was in Ait Sedrate Jbel El Soufla. Nothing special. I just took some panorama pictures there. That’s it. We arrived our hotel in the same area. We were tired. First took a shower and then had our dinners (Couscous again!) And we took a rest. I really adore the uniqueness of this hotel. Unlike other hotels, it has something different. I love the architecture and the colors (always reddish in this area). Special Moroccan pictures on the wall and Moroccan spirit everywhere!
Next day we were on the road to SAHARAAAA! I was soooo excited. We stopped in some spots to take pictures again and and to see the area. Finally, we were in South of Ouarzazat where the desert begins. This place is called Et Taous. Our camels were waiting for us. I chose the “white one with blue eyes”. It had something different like me, something unusual. I loved my camel from the first moment I saw him. We got on it one by one: Oh but I got to tell you this; getting on camel is not easy at all. It felt like I was on RODEO. No joking, it was CHALLENGING. We rode half an hour or maybe more on the camels. The desert was breathtaking. I could not describe how BLESSED I felt at that moment. The driver, who directed all the camels, was also so funny and i like the way he is. All natural and funny and Moroccan! He also though I was Moroccan 😀 or he did not believe I was Turkish at all.
We took many pictures while riding the camels. I told you, my camel was different than the others. I named him “Van Gogh” cause one of his ears was cut. They all laughed at it. It was my camel after all.. Different color than the usual and damn blue eyes. He was also rebellious and made me jump every time he went down or up.
We got off of the camels and I saw the huge tent prepared for us and some mattresses on the sand. I felt like a 6 year-old child and could not help but acted crazy there. We had a free time until dinner and we enjoyed the moment and played with sand and took many pictures for a memory and laughed all together. After dinner there was an event with Moroccan instruments. We gathered around the fire and those Nomads started to play their own music and we sang along. It was like being on the beach around fire and someone with the guitar and people sing along.. No! Even though we were almost out of water, it was way too better than that. It was UNFORGETTABLE! A guy called me to play with them. I was all shocked but crazy enough to play that stuff. They taught me the rhythm real quick and in a second I was all lost in my own melody and in my own UTOPIA..
It was really indescribable. Million stars above us and they were soooo close and sooooo far at the very same time. In 23 years of my life, I had never saw a shooting-star. Ever. But that night, I witnessed more than 5 and I was lost in counting. I wish my beloved ones could be there with me to breath this atmosphere. I was lying on the sand and watching the shining stars and listening to the serenity. Then I decided to climb the top and even though it was pretty hard to do so, we made it with my Spanish friend whom I met on the road. We were watching stars and talking about life and its meaning. I wished I could have lived on that desert forever. We went down and slept on our mattresses. I really did not want to sleep but we were really tired after all that walking.
In the morning NOMAD guy woke us up and we got on our camels to go back to the place where it all started. I reminded my friend to “fill” our plastic bottle with desert sand. We were both sleepy and we got nervous as if it was “stealing” something from the sand and after that we could not stop laughing. It was 06:00 in the morning and we were laughing like 2 crazy people. I won’t forget that moment and my lovely friend’s reaction! 😀 Nomad wanted us to get ready and hurry us for no reason.. I did not want to live at all. I consumed the view with my eyes one more time. I knew in that moment life is worth living. Life is beautiful just like this desert.
We changed our clothes and hopped up in the bus and towards evening we arrived home and took a very long long shower to remove all the sands from our bodies. We were so tired and slept early that night. But I was still dreaming of those stars and serenity..