May 3-5, Sahara Desert, Morocco.
A driver from Sahara Expedition arrived at our riad at 7:30am to pick us up. We arrived at the meeting point nearer to new city of Marrakech, where all travellers gathered and waited for the exciting trip to the desert.
Our tour comprised of people from around the world- 2 German ladies, a couple from Ukraine, 2 couples who speak local language, a couple from China who studied in France, a couple from Indonesia, an American guy studied in Portugal, and us. We were also joined later by 2 French ladies.
The program of the tour should be similar across different agencies. They bring you to Ait Ben Haddou, a Berber village, the place where Hollywood movies and big TV dramas like Gladiator and Game of Thrones were filmed. Also some other villages and a shopping point for carpets. Typical group tour but there was no hardselling or pushing so everybody was happy.
We spent our first night at Ouarzazate, which is at the middle of Marrakech and Merzouga, the small town near the desert.
We woke up the next day at 7am to enjoy a light breakfast at the hostel. Continued with some photo points, and finally arrived at Merzouga. Brought with us our backpacks with necessities in the desert, we rode camels to the tents inside the desert. The French girls already went to the other desert and tried camel riding before joining us, so they chose to walk instead. The ride was not particularly comfortable and it took 1 hour. It was pretty windy and we all wore our scarfs.
As we arrived at the tents, it was just before sunset. We enjoyed some photo time on the dunes. We had typical tagine chicken inside the tents, and all headed to the sand and expected the legendary starry night at the desert. Unfortunately, the stars were not so prominent as the moon was there. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the night together with indigenous people playing music with a fire, dancing and chatting.
The next day, we woke up before everyone else at around 6am, and went up to the dunes to expect a sunrise. After a while, before the sunrise, the indigenous people asked everybody to wake up for camel ride back to Merzouga. We literally rode the camel as the sun rose.
After some fast fresh up and breakfast at Merzouga, we finally clarified with the driver on our transportation arrangement to Fes. At the office the guy charged us 200Dh extra per pax for a taxi ride, but they only bought us bus ticket at night. We requested a refund so that we can take the taxi with the Indonesian couple for 250Dh per pax. They just asked us to add 50Dh per pax to join their taxi so we just did it and start our journey after a quick farewell with our new friends from around the world who would instead head back to Marrakech.
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