Into the Sahara

(written last week…October  1st)

Sometimes  my blogs are  kind of dumb and impersonal like my last one about Fes. So, sorry. I just felt the need to document Fes in blog form and I guess it came out sounding kind of stupid. Here’s another try from my last week camping neath the stars in the desert,  hanging with Berbers and  nomads and Tuaregs:

So I asked myself what I could do to max out on my experiences and to improve my pas mal/pas bien situation. I have the freedom to do what I want and to make myself happy! I decided what I needed was a good dose of nature, be it beach, mountains, forest or in this case, desert. “Here in this wholly mineral landscape light by the stars, like flares, even memory disappears; nothing is left but your own breathing and the sound of your heart beating, for no one who has stayed in the Sahara for a while is quite the same as when he came,” said my beloved Paul Bowles, beat author and expat in Morocco. So I took the overnight bus toward the Algerian border and was awoken at 5:30 am (how I fell asleep on this bus I have no clue) announcing my arrival into the Sahara. I looked around and realized I was the only one remaining on the bus. I had taken it to the end of the line. I looked out to the the sun rising behind the silhouettes of the date palms and wondered what I was doing here. I had no plans here. But I was sort of in a daze, enjoying the scenery too much to worry, as by now I have faith in myself to handle whatever situation comes my way. It all ended up being pretty easy, anyway. The bus driver called his local Berber friend in the village at the foot of the desert, who invited me in for tea and then to a nomadic wedding in the village.

Nomads celebrate a the marriage for three days with drums and food and tents

Nomads celebrate a the marriage for three days with drums and food and tents

His name was Omar and he spoke a little French and a little Spanish, but more Spanish. With my little French and little Spanish, but more French, we were able to chill. At sunset we embarked on camelback, Tuareg style, into the desert where we trekked the dunes, cooked a brilliant spicy tagine, and camped under the stars in a palm oasis in the silent desert night. At sunrise, I watched the dunes as they slowly lit to a magnificent golden glow and as the day wore on, to a deep auburn and then a dusty rose, the sun creating shadows as it moved across the sky (or as the earth moved around it). It was cooler than a magic carpet ride. Quite the inspiration for La Petite Princesse!

At sunset

At sunset

Omar at sunset

Omar at sunset

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~ by ceciliabien on October 10, 2009.

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