June 19, 2011

10 hours and counting....

Thank god we sat next to a really chatty and funny gay couple who provided us with endless entertainment throughout this trip. Murray is an air steward and a real chatterbox, constantly poking fun at the ridiculousness of the situation.

The views we witnessed were unlike anything I’d ever seen before as we drove from Marrakech into the Atlas Mountain range, through the Draa Valley and finally into the Saharan Desert. We went from hot to cold and back to hot again, through lush green pastures and fertile valleys to dusty no mans land and moon-like terrain, through modern cities strangely out of context followed by villages you usually only see in National Geographic; all within the space of a day. It was amazing! I felt like I was in one of those old movie scenes, where the actor sits in a car with different “scenery” being scrolled alongside it to make it seem like it was in motion.

 We saw so many children wave as we drove by, men on mules, sheperds hearding their goats towards the streams and rivers, women carrying stacks of grass on their backs or tending to small garden plots. I gave up trying to capture some of these scenes as I ended up missing more by diving into my bag for my camera. Sometimes you just have to take it all in and let your memory serve you instead of a photo. An image couldn’t encapsulate the scenery around us anyway, it was just too vast and detailed at the same time!

The villages and medinas blended into the mountains as they were sandy coloured, mostly built of mud and straw, with flat, thatched roofs. Even if they were concrete they were painted a terracotta colour to blend in with their environment. Every place, be it a small cluster of houses or a town, has at least one mosque. Minarets (the towers of the mosque) dot the landscape as a result.

The journey was longggggggg and overwhelming at times but as we arrived at our camel meeting point and were shown how to tie our headscarfs ‘a-la-Lawrence of Arabia style’ we got wildy excited.

Let’s go ride a camelllll!!!

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