First we spent some time in the Gorge taking photos and enjoying it without the crowds. We have been looking forward to our night in the Sahara Desert. For me it will bring back memories of a fortnight camped in the Sahara desert outside Tamanrasset in Algeria, back in 1973.
This days drive was an ever changing mix of the gorge with lovely greenery from gardens and date palms, and mud villages turning to barren black desert, and finally changing to more like mulga. While the landscape was changing all the time it was barren and not that interesting except in bursts when a village popped up. We pretty much bypassed Erhoud having missed the turn and had to return 19 kms
Auberge La Source - Hassi Labied near Merzouga
The place is spacious, plain, but has everything we need including air conditioning.....and wifi which we
haven’t had the last 2 nights. The price includes dinner, bed and breakfast .
We were greeted with a freshly squeezed orange juice which was most welcome in the 47oC heat.Brian was able to check local temperatures on his phone.
We relaxed in the shade until it was time for our long awaited camel ride.
Camel Ride at Erg Chebbi Dunes in the Sahara Desert
Once we were well into the Dunes, the camels got to take a rest while we climbed up the sand to the top. We could have walked further into the Dunes but opted to climb up and then rest and admire the views which changed through every shade of orange and gold as the sun slowly sank below the dunes.The last rays cast a glorious rich colour over the sand.
There is something fascinating about sand dunes and Erg Chebbi was stunning. You have the feeling of being the first person to have ventured here as the sand is smoothed by new layers brought by the wind. You can see no footsteps made by others We created interesting patterns as we walked along the top of the dune ridge....although it seemed a shame to spoil the smooth untouched surface.
We enjoyed dinner in the cool of the evening outside overlooking the Dunes where we had ridden our camels. We had a delicious traditional meal, tajine and accompiaments cooked by one of the three brothers who run the hotel. This is a family run hotel with three generations living here, but the three brothers seem to be the main people running the accommodation side.
After a restless night due to the heat.....somehow while the airconditioning was working, the bed just didn't really cool down, we enjoyed breakfast in the now cool courtyard where we had eaten dinner the night before. We were soon packed and on our way. We had a very long drive ahead of us to Fez.
I have a feeling while we have a long drive tomorrow it won’t be as bad as we envisage. We are finding there is too much incorrect information in books.