Merzouga & desert bivouac
Man, this country! We left the dunes of the Sahara when we saw lightning and thunderclouds in the distance, followed by a far away sandstorm approaching. We barely made it to our room in time before all hell broke loose. Rain came pouring down, the power went out and spectacular lightning decorated the sky.
Water even poured down the walls of our room, leaving us scrambling to corral all our belongings onto the bed and center of the room, trying to keep away from the muddy water. More on that in a future video!
After the rain had stopped Robin helped clean up the courtyard and both girls helped set the table for our candlelight dinner as the power was still out.
The next day power was back on and we left to go see a lake that had formed as a result of the rain. Youssef, the owner of the kasbah, said that it is where flamingoes would meet in huge flocks once every couple of years when the lake is there. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived there, they apparently hadn’t gotten the memo yet. So no flamingoes for us, but it was pretty cool to see a lake in the desert where there had been none just a day before.
That evening we went on our camel trek that Youssef had arranged for us. What a spectacular experience!
After about an hour we arrived at the camp.
Said cooked us a simple tagine, served tea and after sunset we watched the stars before going to bed.
Sleeping in the camp (we had our own room with a double and two single floor beds) was an interesting experience. I slept okay, as did the kids, but Rene unfortunately chose a bad spot and was kept awake by foul smells just outside the tent.
The camp was basic. Like, very basic. There was electricity for lights (small solar panel) but no water or toilets. When we arrived I happily sat in the sand next to the tent only to discover later that it was used as a toilet. Have you ever pooped in the desert? I can now say I have and I’m not sure it’s something I’m proud of (but if you gotto go….). The entire area of sand around the tent was actually a toilet and a trash bin for leftover food. Yum.
No wonder it kept Rene up and also attracted desert foxes at night making noise. I didn’t hear anything but I was asleep on the other side of our tent so I guess I was lucky. We did see their tracks in the sand the next morning.
The next morning at 7 we rode back with our dromedary to their ‘parking’ close to the town and a car brought us back to the kasbah. Although we had only booked for 1 night, Youssef served us breakfast and let us use another room to have a shower. So nice!
Coming up soon: part 3, about the magical 16th century kasbah we stayed at in Tamnougalt!