Created this blog to document my travels, experiences & thoughts thru Central & South America but hell plan to blog my travels to where ever. Goofy harmless Free Spirit hoping to spend most of my time with locals & enjoy the world! So hang on as I travel, drink cervezas, raise a little hell, maybe piss off a few people & hopefully not give Canadians a bad reputation! Of course don't do these things on purpose but while having a good time well "Shit Happens"!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Yeah so after getting the bus times mixed up I finally got the correct overnight bus to the desert
Aw shit Im tired of fighting with the shitty internet connection today so going to leave it for another day to post pics: Also have to head back to pick up my passport from the Mauritanian Embassy in Rabat: Cus dont want to spend another day in this shit hole: Stay tuned or return again as I plan to post more pics when I find a good connection: Also not spending a lot of time making this look nice cus like who cares about the appearance:
Ok so after a mistake in the bus departure time was resolved; I got on the overnight bus to El Russini to arrive at about 6 am. So of course typical of Morocco there were people waiting to take us out to the desert to stay at their camp (sort of a hotel built in the desert to host travellers coming to see the Sand dunes). The strange thing was there was only people hustling from only one camp. Had to take them cus it was a 45 min drive to Merzouga which isnt really a village but a bunch of camps/houses built out in the middle of nowhere.
There were a few German travellers on the bus and one guy wanted to share a ride to the camp as he was travelling by himself. So we shared a room and hung out for a few days trekking thru the Sand Dunes:
The sight of the Sand Dunes is quite a sight as suddenly there are Big Ass Sand Dunes probably 100 meters high. They dont drive on a road but thru a desert of dirt not quite sand but not real dirt (if u know what I mean cus dont know how else to describe it). The camps themselves were really a chill place to hang out and chat with other travellers. Of course there was hash offered so who could refuse. But tho I smoked it I thought the Moroccan hash is vastly overrated as I can smoke it all day and not get as wasted as doing some good old BC Bud or weed from Spain. Sorry just a side note that is part of the Moroccan culture that I had to add.
The rooms in the camp cost us 50 DH / 5 Euros / 8 CAD a night plus 100 DH for food which I thought was too much but there arent any other places to eat in the desert so they had us by the short hairy ones so to speak. The other alternative was to go on camels and camp in the desert for a night at 500 DH / 50 Euros / 75 CAD a night. Shit Ive been on a camel before so big deal and hell I dont like paying or doing any type of tour so Phillip the German dude and I said screw that cost: But all the others went for that but couldnt see me paying that price: Hell they even tried to con me into going on a 10 day camel trip from Merzouga to Zagora for 500 CAD another small village near the Algerian border south of Merzouga. We could basically see mountains in Algeria from the camp we stayed at. Then from Zagora a person can take a 52 day camel trip to Timbucktu in Mali for probably 1000 or 2000 CAD but didnt really get into the price cus there was no way Id do a camel tour.
They also had snowboard and skis to rent to do the sand dunes. They also had dune buggies to rent. But I was too tight to spend the cash plus I just wanted to see the dunes as have done the sand dune boarding and Volcanic boarding in Central and South America so gave this a pass:
But shit Phillip and I wanted to hike the Sand Dunes on our own. So once we had settled in Phillip the German guy and I went climbing the Sand Dunes for about 4 hours. If we walked on the wind ward side of the dunes the sand was fairly hard so it made walking easier. We got some awesome views of the sand dunes and surrounding areas. We saw a bunch of tents / camps set up for the tourists to stay the night. We also met up with about 8 Austrian guys who had brought their dirt bikes / motor bikes with them to do the dunes. They looked like they were having a blast going down these steep dunes similar to how skiers or boarders do in snow.
It took us about a hour or so to do each big ass sand dune as it got windy and a bit tiring to do these steep dunes: Also we started to get some bad wind and sun burns so thought we should pack it in: I wasnt concerned but Phillip was a lot fairer skin so he was having a bit of a problem.
The others doing the Camel trip were still waiting around when we got back to camp. They were going from about 4 pm to 10 am so in the mean time they had a nap. We got back and since the sun was out we thought we d wash our clothes so it would be dry by morning. But then around 3 pm a big dark cloud came along and we got a sand storm move in. It got so bad that and we had to cover all our stuff as the sand was getting in ever where. We had kind of forgot about our clothes on the lines which got blown all over hells half acre. They were either coated with sand or the dry and dusty. The people going on the camel trip had to wait a hr until the storm passed. It was still windy when they left on their camels. Then around sunset we decided to hike up the sand dunes to take some pictures. By this time the wind was getting very strong and the sand was flying all over. I didnt have to worry as I have a pocket sized camera while Phillip had a SLR camera so he had to protect it from the sand with a plastic bag. But we got some pictures of the sun setting but didnt want to hang around too much qfter it got dark. Cus dont think we wanted to get lost in the sand dunes in the dark. Heck we forgot to bring water or flashlights as who needs water in the desert ha ha.
We spent a chill night hanging out talking to the local guys working at the camp: They were all nice but wanted to get every thing we owned from our MP3 players; cameras; and even my computer for nothing: They also smoked half our hash as they liked to smoke other peoples cigarettes and hash: But hell the stuff was cheap and there was nothing else to drink or do but chill; talk and smoke: The food they served was good as really like their chicken tagine which is kind of a chicken stew: But the best chicken tagine I ate was at Mohammeds restuarant in Chefchaouen: He told me it was his mothers recipe but he had some awesome spices in it that others didnt use.
The next day we hung around the camp till 4 pm as the bus to Marrakech left at 6 pm for a &à hour bus ride: So of course it was more sitting; eating; talking and smoking: There was this cool Spanish chick who had driven her car from Barcelona and was hanging out there for 30 days: She had brought her whole life with her as she didnt know how long she was staying as she got herself a Moroccan boyfriend. She had a little house behind the camp which she invited me over for tea and see her place. She worked in the movie business working on props. But the business was kind of slow so she was hanging in Morocco and if she got a call for work she would fly home to work: She was thinking of going to VAncouver some day to check out the movie scene so we traded names and email addresses; etc: Hell flying from Europe to Morocco cost something like 30 Euros / 45 CAD if that which meant Morocco is full of European tourists or is another Europe: Morocco is full of tourists as its not that they are from Europe but just dislike bus loads of tourists who look like a caravan of tourists driving the prices up with all their money. blah
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