9 hours of sleep passed very quickly with only a brief interruption from the 5.30 call to prayer. I had forgotten nearly everything that our guide had told us about today, all I remembered was camels but I was prepared to just go with the flow and see what happened!
|Off we went into the dunes!|
|All the colours!|
Moving on we arrived for lunch in a hotel that we were strangely never going to stay in! This was one of the last buildings before the edge of the Sahara! More tagine and cous-cous and then we waited for the heat of the day to die down so that we could ride our camels (!) out to the Bedouin camp in the desert where we would be spending the night. The heat however had no intention of going anywhere and hung in the air stubbornly. Eventually we were called out to meet our camels. They're much bigger than I had thought! And much lumpier in gait too. Whoever looked at a camel and thought 'That looks comfy to ride long distances' was wrong, though I suppose its preferable to walking yourself. The trick is to sit further back in the saddle behind the hump with your legs bent. However they don't have stirups so your legs hang under their own weight which makes them sore after a while. We rode out in caravans of 4 and the views were amazing and well worth the lumpy bumpy ride!
|Timbuktu 52 days by camel across the desert.... no thanks!|
|Dancing into the night|
Tuesday - Sahara to Ait Benhaddou
I'd had a near completely undisturbed night apart from needing to pee at one point and being glad that I had remembered 'Turn left at Sue to get to the loo' as I didn't want to wake anyone with a torch. Thankfully the oil lamps at the loos were still burning so I didn't need a light at all!
Back to the camels for the morning ride out of the desert and it was interesting to see where people hurt! Almost everyone's inner thighs hurt but some had lower back aches and even sore shoulders! I'm guessing that since I used to ride anyway I was spared from the sore back and shoulders that come from resisting an animals movement rather than rolling with it. I seemed to get either a comfier camel or I had desensitised to it this time as I had a significantly more pleasant ride. We arrived at another hotel we weren't staying at (a bit of a theme now) and didn't even have lunch this time however our guide had negotiated that we could use the showers so in rotations of 4 we all washed as much sand as possible out of as many places as possible! Then we started on a long day of driving stopping for lunch and snacks along the way.
When we arrived at our hotel (one we were actually using as a hotel not a restaurant or shower) I wasn't feeling well so I skipped most of dinner and spend a restless night getting very little sleep with my dreams making very little sense but leaving me confused and disorientated.
Again this feels like enough for one post.