The Dunes of Merzouga

The short story in red scale of a long trip to the desert of Morocco.

Merzouga is a small village in southeastern Morocco, about 35 km southeast of Rissani, 45 km from Erfoud, and 50 km from neighboring Algeria. The journey that will take us to Merzouga is not at all long, because their long roads and the eternal orange horizon seems to sink us into one of those stories that end too son. My inseparable Holga CFN 120, strong as a rock, kept me company in those hours, as these pictures attest.

Merzouga is known for having one of the largests ergs in the Sahara, the Erg Chebbi (عرق الشبي‎ in arabic). Ergs are large flat areas of desert, with sandy windswept and little or no vegetation cover. Well, that was the final destination of our trip.

When you get in the hostel you see a light at the end of the corridor: orange, vibrant. Like calling you from far away, but still felt so close. And there, on the other side of the door, are the dunes of Merzouga.

After a hot mint tea, we rode the camels for over half an hour, walking between the dunes to reach the camp.

The wind in your face, the tender touch of the sand, and the sun setting over the desert completed the picture when we started to ride. The slow wobble of the dromedary, clumsy but somehow sure, cradled us through the desert roads that only Berbers can see.

We had dinner, the lamb and veggie tagine prepared by our guides, was the best I ever had. Laughter in the light of the candles, arabic songs and Berber music.

The stars in a clear sky. The silence. And sleeping overnight in a tent, covered with handmade blankets under the stars, only to see the sun rising over Algeria.

written by silvereyes on 2013-02-12 in #world #locations

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