January 03, 2013

Marrakesh Day 2 & 3: Camel Trek & Sahara Desert Camping

Waking up in the early morning to start this adventure was difficult but I was too excited not to be awake for it.
So the tour was basically going to be 2 days, where we would take a bus for 8 hours to the desert, ride a camel during sunset and then stay a night in a tent in the Sahara Desert. In the morning of the next day, we would ride a camel during sunrise back to the edge of the Sahara Desert, and then sit in the bus for another 8 hours to get back to the city.
The 8 hour bus ride was as horrible as it sounded. But to make it a little more bearable, we had casual stops along the side of the mountains for pictures, and the views were AMAZING.
Simply. Breathtaking.
A little store on the side of the road
My deer & I
Mountain goats
For lunch, we stopped at this restaurant that had an amazing outdoor patio (well, everything was basically outdoors). I was just loving the sun...
Moroccan mint tea
Aaaaand back to our bus ride.
Literally standing on the edge of a cliff (as per usual), in my Moroccan pants heh
My first sight of the camels. SO CUTE.
So they sit down while you board them. Once they get the signal, they would stand up. If you weren't careful, you would fall off LOL I almost fell off, but thank goodness I didn't!!! 
As people starting picking camels, I got forced to go on this one camel that wasn't attached to anyone else (all the other camels were attached in a line with other camels). I felt so secluded for the first bit but then I actually enjoyed my own little private camel trek heh. But then in the end, I got attached to Viv's camel. So at least we were all together! It was pretty fun. It was basically like riding any other animal. So in the end, I didn't really need to hold the metal bars to steady myself. AND, I ended up sitting cross legged on my camel. It was the most comfortable position, I swear!
Just Sally & I
Riding into the sunset
Sahara Desert sunset
By the time we arrived to the campsite, the sky was already super dark. We landed and got off our camels. Thank goodness I had a flashlight or else we'd be SO lost!! It is literally pitch black. You couldn't see a single thing. And I think that could have been a good thing because I'm pretttttty sure that the sand area was covered with camel poop. BUT I'm not 100% sure. What you don't know can't hurt you right? Haha
After we got assigned tents for the night, we dropped off our stuff and headed to the main tent for some tea and peanuts, while they cooked dinner.
Dinner was in another separate tent, where we all had a candlelight dinner. So romantical! JAYKAY. There was this cat there that kept jumping up right next to me trying to get food :@ :@ :@ but that's besides the point. We had some soup, tangine, and oranges for dessert.

After dinner was over, we all headed back to the main tent for some music and dancing. Haha it was actually quite fun!
After sitting around for a while, we headed outside to see the stars. One word = planetarium.
It was so dark outside, with no lights whatsoever, that you could see soooo many stars, it didn't even feel real. I honestly felt like I was in a planetarium!! If it was warmer, I definitely would have just laid outside and slept while gazing at the stars. Secret confession: I absolutely love star gazing.
We headed to bed after hearing dogs/wolves/whatever howling. I honestly thought I was going to get killed haha.
- - -
Waking up in the morning did not feel like real life. It was SO cold. I was bundled so thickly. I'm pretty sure I was wearing 4 shirts, a hoodie, my pea coat, 2 scarves, with leggings and my moroccan pants. AND 5 pairs of socks. I was curled into my fleece and it was still freezing outside. I swear it was -20 degrees!! It was a mission and a million to take off my layers to change. But once I forced myself to get out of bed and out of the tent, it was worth it.
Our tent for the night
After breakfast, we quickly packed and went back on our way back towards the city on our camels :)
We made a couple more pitstops along the way back to Marrakesh.
One of our pitstops was at this store that handmade carpets, and...stuff. Not really sure because I wasn't too interested in fabrics like this and what not. But it was still a nice change from our other boring pitstops!
Another pitstop was supposed to be a tour at this castle but I really didn't feel like going nor did I want to spend money on it. We ended up just wandering off while waiting and took pictures of our surroundings. Can you believe people actually live in these little villages on the mountains?!
For lunch, I ordered couscous :)
On our way back, we stopped by this bank of snow and decided to make snowballs hehe :P
I can now say that I made a snowball in Morocco haha
By the time we arrived back to the city/our hostel, it was already really dark. We ended up hanging out in the hostel with people we met on the camel trip. What a great 2nd and 3rd day!
Hummus! Yum.
I still cannot believe that this all happened. Especially coming from a girl who HATES the outdoors.. I actually rode a camel, and survived a night out in the desert!! One of my best trips yet :)
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