Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Spanish Sahara, the place that you'd wanna {Days 11 &12}

Sahara Desert
Sunrise in the Sahara Desert
Sahara Desert

Sand Patterns
Me in the Sahara

Day 11
Left at 8:30 for a looong drive to the Sahara desert. It was about 9 or 10 hours with stops along the way of course. I jinxed myself when I said I have a strong stomach because I got really sick on the drive and had to pull over many a times. It was gross and so unpleasant. By the late afternoon, though, I felt better.
We drove through snow capped mountains towards the desert. It was interesting to watch how the vegetation slowly changes. Finally we reached the Sahara right at sunset.
Our hotel was so fabulous. It was a huge open house with stories that overlooked the bottom floor. If you walk straight out the back of the house, there are the dunes of the Sahara desert. When most people think go the Sahara, they think it is only the sand dunes, but that actually only makes up about 15% of it. It was news to me.
After an enjoying an appetizer of roasted peanuts and mint tea, we had a delicious Berber Moroccan meal of the most unique tagine made with beef, eggs and chickpeas (full of protein and delish). Fresh fruit was the dessert, as it often is here. I know I have mentioned it before, but the Berbers are native Moroccans, they were here long before the Arabs and French. Most people in the Sahara speak only Berber and not Arabic.
After dining, we were serenaded by traditional Berber music and dancing - in which we all joined it. So fun :)

Day 12: Sahara Desert
Today I woke up at 5:00 for a camel ride in the Saharan dunes. We went so early so we could watch the sunrise over the Algerian border. The whole time I kept asking myself if it was real life - I couldn't believe I was riding a camel right before the crack of dawn, in the Sahara desert. Unreal. It is definitely an experience I cannot forget. It was so serene and peaceful on the dunes, I was mesmerized by the shadows and different patterns of the sand. It made me realize how fortunate I was to have this opportunity to be going to Morocco (thanks mom and dad!).
We climbed the highest peak and sat on the edge of the dune to watch the sun rise.
After riding, we were treated to a delicious breakfast of homemade cornbread/honey/orange cake. So good.
Then we were on the road again for several long hours until we reached Ouarzazate, our next destination.
The drive was practically flat desert the whole time, with the exception of canyons and mountain chains in the background. Its an interesting landscape to me because it is nothing like I am used to.

Song for this post: "Spanish Sahara" by Foals, for obvious reasons, but also its just one of the best songs, ever. Its monumental.


  1. Oh my gosh, Lauren...you have outdone yourself with that camera!!! You absolutely must make the picture of yourself wrapped in a scarf your profile pic. Must. Go. To. MOROCCO!!!!

    P.S. - These pics remind me of The Alchemist. Did you ever read it?

  2. beautiful pictures lauren! the sahara seems seriously surreal. i love that you're documenting every step of your trip with your blog too! i'm living vicariously through you!

  3. Your photos are absolutely magnificent!! my father is from Spanish Morocco and these photos fill me with nostalgia... I'm a new Follower and would love if you'd follow me
    xo RP

  4. Wow, this is like looking into a film or the eye of some great old explorer, and to think you got to see it!

    Spanish Sahara is so beautiful and haunting. My favorite Foals song.

  5. truly fantastic. BEAUTIFUL. i've been wanting to go there for so long. i shall someday!


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