Marrakech to Zagora Itinerary:
Woke up early on Xmas eve to meet our guide and driver (Rasheed and Ibrahim) for a journey to the Sahara Desert. On our way to the desert, we drove along windy mountain roads while talking, sleeping, and reading Edith Wharton’s “In Morocco.”
We stopped in Ouarzazate, known as “Oulywood” for its film studio where many famous American movie scenes were filmed, to see the famous Kasbah and eat lunch.
Our drive was about 7 hours, so it was nearly dark by the time we got to Zagora for an hour long camel ride into a Berber camp in the Sahara. Most of our camel ride was under a blanket of stars in the dark of the desert, which we found very appropriate for Christmas Eve.
Upon our arrival in the camp, we were greeted by a symphony of languages and mint tea. Between us and our fellow campers, our group was comprised of people from 6 continents! Thankfully the agreed upon language was English for the evening .
After socializing for a bit, we were fed a delicious dinner of soup, couscous, and fruit.
Rasheed recommended a hike up one of the dunes before the evening music started to watch for falling stars, so we climbed… And climbed… And climbed until we got there. For those of you inexperienced with dune climbing, you lose one step for every two you take by sliding. However, once there, it was beautiful and peaceful in the middle of nowhere laying on the sand and we were only drawn away by the sounds of boisterous drumming and singing.
The entire group sat around a campfire and enjoyed the local talent and each other’s company until bedtime in our not so rustic Berber tents.