I was stumped for a title for this post. Originally, I planned to call it Morocco’s Sahara Desert. But, according to my research, the Sahara includes 11 countries! It wouldn’t have been particularly specific to call it Sahara. I’m calling it Rissani because that’s the name of the town we went to before our camel ride across the sand dunes.
My mother and I had spent the previous day driving from Fez to Hassilabied. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of the desert dunes for the night. We had breakfast at the hotel and then went exploring with our guide in the morning.
The first stop was not far from the motel. It was an orchard on the outskirts of the desert. I’m not sure if the water came from a spring or from a river. However, seeing an orchard close to the desert was a bit of a shock.
We then headed to some sort of cultural center. They put on a small show and danced a little bit. I suppose it’s good to remember the old tribal culture, but I’m not a big fan of such shows. I’d rather see folks go about their daily lives in town than watch a staged production. It looked to be a hit with the rest of the group, so it was definitely a good time.
There was a camel crossing sign on the road. Tank speed limits are posted in Germany. There are camel warnings here.
This is our road map. His outfit was rad! I’m not sure what this sort of clothing is called, but our guide always wore it with really cool designs.
We then proceeded to Rissani to look around the marketplace. This section of the day was definitely my favorite. I loved it because there was so much that was new and odd to me.
This is where the market’s parking lot are! Everyone brings mules home with them to carry their groceries and other items.
They had a car parking lot as well, but I preferred the market’s large donkey parking lot.
A lot of cattle was being sold within the market. They owned cows, goats, and sheep. I’m not sure if they had camels, or if you had to go to a camel dealership to get a new one.
Our guide led us to a herb shop filled with a variety of herbs, spices, and drinks.
They set us down with a group of other tourists and served us a variety of samples.
Our guide escorted us to a relative’s house after the market. It could have been the house where he grew up. I can’t recall right now. We had a snack and some refreshing peppermint tea.
The snack was a bread-based pizza-like item. I can’t recall what was in it for the life of me. Although it appears to have veggies baked in, it could also have been sweet with fruit baked in. I recall having a good time with it.
It was time to mount and ride towards the desert as the day drew to a close.
The sand dunes were spectacular and well worth the admission fee. The camels, on the other hand, were a different story. Camels are savage beasts, and I’m quite sure none of the locals ride them save for a laugh at festivals. Camel riding appears to be a tourist-only activity. They’re not even close to being comfy, and after 10 minutes, I’d rather walk.
The natives all remained on the ground. They had to lead the camels because it is nearly hard to lead a camel from behind. They’re too obstinate to change. To get them to move, the guides have to lift them off the ground.
The camel in front of me continued attempting to bite me.
We eventually arrived at the location where we would spend the night. The camel journey through the sand dunes seemed to last for hours. It felt good to put our camels down and be back on our feet.
In a large tent, we all ate dinner together. Then there was hanging around and listening to music. This tent was where my mother and I stayed. It was quite relaxing.
We met the camp kitties in the morning and shot some sunrise photos of the dunes.
Some people climbed the large dune to photograph the sunrise, but I was too tired to do so. Instead, I took pictures of them.
The camels remained in the same spot where we had parked them. A part of me wished they would flee during the night. We remounted and rode the camels back to the hotel before long.
We returned to the motel to retrieve our belongings. After that, we met up with our guide and went to a different location.
I like to whine about the camels, but I had a great time on this journey. The camels were uneasy and obnoxious, but not unpleasant. It was fantastic to spend the night in the desert. In my entire life, I’ve never seen so many stars. I thought the night sky was cloudy at first, but it was only the Milky Way’s clouds. The sky was bright, yet the billions of stars appeared to be murky. I only I had a more capable camera. On the other hand, I’m pleased I didn’t sand a pricey camera.
My mother and I then drove across the Atlas Mountains on our way to Casablanca. I hope you’ll join me for the next stop on the City to City Tour tomorrow!