After a long day of driving we arrived in the small city of Merzouga. I don’t know what it was but Merzouga reminded me of a college town. Hotels full of young people who were completing various treks across the desert and much of Africa. Coffee shops and kitch shops focusing on the abundance of fossils in the area. I truthfully didn’t read up enough and had no idea this was such a fossil heaven. Harrison would have loved it. The shops were pretty cool. In my dream house I would have a sink made from these fossils. Also date orchards everywhere, there are over 100 varieties grown in Morocco. Such a cool country.
This photo of Driss Fossils & Minerals Shop is courtesy of TripAdvisor
We left our cushy van and met up with a four wheeled drive vehicle which then proceeded to drive us the long way around through the desert to our camp site. Seriously this was unnecessary which we didn’t know until we got to our campsite and saw not far in the distance a paved road. It was fun none the less.
Here is the nitty gritty on sleeping in tents in the Sahara, the Sahara is full of sand. LOL I know right. Everything was fine until we went to bed and the wind started. The blanket flap wouldn’t stay closed and wind and sand kept blowing into the tent. Blanket flap for a door which meant zero security from a potential intruder. Which wasn’t alarming until later in the night when we were sleep deprived. The flapping door and walls were loud and caused the light to vary in the room which woke us up continually all night long. My bed was pushed up tight against the tent causing the walls to hit me on the head when the wind blew. Ultimately in the middle up the night I finally got up and pulled the bed into the middle of the room. LeAnn was already sleeping half off the bed and was being startled awake every time the door opened and light came in. It was a miserable night of sleep. So here is the stupid thing, we had another room with a king bed further into the tent far away from the front door. We had used the space to unload all of our suitcases. What we should of done was MOVE to the big bed in the middle of the night. You make stupid decisions when you are cold, scared, startled, and sand covered. Would I do it again, probably because I am so much wiser now.
Our guide asked us to sit on his blanket for a perspective shot. I thought he was going to walk down the hill, sand walking not so easy, and take a photo of us from below. But no, he grabbed the edge of the blanket and ran down the hill pulling us behind him.
I was so happy. I just love the desert. After breakfast we were on our way to Ourzazate. I loved all the scenery it reminded me so much of home. Todgha Gorge was lovely.
We arrived in Ouarzazate. We were underwhelmed with this city but it was a necessary stop in our long journey.
We stayed at Dar Chomaa which was really a hotel. It was our least favorite. Although brand new it was in an industrial area with no access to grocery stores or activities. Most importantly it didn’t have a roof with great view. The pool would have to do.
On to Marrakesh.