Since being back, the first question people ask me is “What was the highlight of your trip?”. I have a bit of a think, and almost every time without fail, the burnt orange dunes of the Sahara Desert in Morocco appear so vividly in my mind. Climbing these dunes is undoubtedly one of the best things I’ve experienced in my life. Getting up high enough to see the sunset, the beautiful colours in the sky, surrounded by mountains of orange sand was truly something magical.
After a long drive from Marrakech, we arrived at a Riad situated at the border of the desert. Shortly thereafter, it was time to head inside the desert! My friends and I joined a convoy of about seven friendly camels that took us to our little camp deep in the desert where we spent the night.
The beauty of being surrounded by nothing but desert and sky, words cannot describe. I felt a sense of freedom and awe, and the need to be pinched every couple of minutes. We were welcomed at camp but couldn’t wait to get up on those dunes.
It was dinner time, so we made our way back to camp. At camp we met other travelers from around the world, devoured uber delicious moroccan food and wine, then danced and sang around the campfire.
A little birdie suggested after dinner we walk a little further out from the camp to see the stars, so a group of us did just that. We laid out a big blanket and gazed out at the Big Dipper and the Orion’s Belt, and other constellations. It was amazing.
The next morning, we got a 4am wake up call (which killed me) to get up and see the sunrise. It was another hefty climb up the dunes, but seeing the colours of the landscape and how it changed over time was worth every minute of my deprived sleep in.
It was a very painful 90 minute camel ride back to our Riad. Restless and hungover, I couldn’t wait to get off my uncomfortable (albeit cute) camel.
Our final night in the desert consisted of an incredible amount of booze, moroccan drumming, lots of silly dancing, and a fun night with amazing new friends. The night ended with us drunkenly singing tunes while a small sandstorm was happening outside. The small sandstorm made the night that extra bit special and we were thankful that we weren’t still camping out in the desert.
My time in the Sahara Desert in Merzouga was indeed a highlight, one that I’ll remember forever and ever.