I went to the Touareg area of Oursi (north of Burkina Faso) to discover the desert, at the limit of the Sahel and Sahara desert, where the trees and bushes disappear, replaced by the sand...
I went to the Touareg area of Oursi (north of Burkina Faso) to discover the desert, at the limit of the Sahel and Sahara desert, where the trees and bushes disappear, replaced by the sand…
The desert is something magic, almost surrealistic. To be in such a huge and wide place, only surrounded by sand is a strange sensation, fascinating and somehow frightening in the same time.
The magic begins with the sunrise. I arrived there at about 5h30 am to see how the light comes slowly out of the horizon and gives you the incredible sensation to discover the light. Until the sun comes really out, the temperature is fresh, and you can not imagine how this place can suffer of a terrible heat in daytime.
I sat down and watched this little yellow point who was very far away, beginning to climb in the sky and bring the light. As soon as the first rays touched my face, I could feel the heat, but it was still very soft and comfortable. A few hours late, these sunrays burned my skin and I only want to avoid them….
As I saw this extraordinary moment of the birth of the day in the desert, I thought at a scene of an extraordinary movie “Lawrence of Arabia” by David Lean. This movie impressed me so much when I saw it when I was about 10 years old, and specially the desert scenes. One of these scenes shows the sunrise, the colors were amazing and I thought that such a moment couldn’t be real! And now, I was seeing almost the same scene, had the same surreal feelings as when I was 10, and this time it was no movie, but it was real! I felt very happy….
As the sun came higher and the temperature grew up, it was time to go, walk through the sand dunes to be at the camp in time and avoid the terrible burning fire of the sun when it reached the sky.
Walking through the sand dunes is also a strange sensation. You’re not really walking, it’s more like floating on a very soft ground. The waves made by the wind on the sand are so pure and look so perfect that you have the impression to be the first human being to walk in this place.
And then was the encounter with the Touaregs and their camels. These people and their animals are really amazing, able to live all year in such hot conditions, being at home in the wide infinity of the Sahara desert. I was invited to share the mint-tea, very hot and very very sweet, but what a wonderfull feeling to drink this little glass of the “elixir of the desert”!