Desert camping in the Sahara sounded a lot more exciting when I booked it several months ago than it did when I was standing there that afternoon waiting for my camel trek into the Sahara dunes. There I was baking in the first summer heat wave to hit the Sahara… and dripping in my own sweat. I wanted to bail. What the hell was I thinking? I thrive in controlled climates (73-75F is ideal). I’m the air conditioner’s biggest fan. I also relish in my night time showers which I’d have to sacrifice to be… in a tent. In the middle of no where. On a mound of sand. Literally. Ugh.
Yes, I can be little dramatic especially when I have conversations in my head – one side of me wondering everything I said above and the other side reminding me that life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Luckily, the more adventurous voice inside of me won out this time and I forgot about all the hesitations the minute I climbed onto Bob Marley, my camel, for the trek to the camp! Bob led the pack (there were 6 other camels behind us), the weather began to cool slightly (every degree helps when you’re baking already), and honestly, it was just surreal to be surrounded by so much sand. Plus, with the sun setting, I was mesmerized by the changing colors of the sand!
When we arrived to our camp, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was more “luxe” than I had imagined it, too!
The camp consisted of 6-7 tents set in a U-shape with a center “courtyard” or “common area” that was carpeted! There was a table in the middle of it all, benches, and pillows for our comfort… it was nice!
Our tents were also big enough to accommodate a bed, sitting area, and table – not too shabby at all.
Our time in the camp consisted of enjoying mint tea, sharing a delicious chicken tangine dinner, and relaxing at the site just looking up at the stars above.
To my dismay, it was a full moon that night so I didn’t get to see the sky lit up with stars like I hoped, but we all got to watch the moon rise behind the camp which was startling bright (who knew?).
The next morning, we woke up at 5am to watch the sunrise and head back to town for showers and breakfast. The sand almost glowed as the first rays of light hit it – totally magical.
In all, I’m so, so glad I went through with this little desert detour… even though I almost chickened out! Thank goodness I didn’t because my time in the Sahara turned out to be one of the highlights of my time in Morocco. The camp was better than I imagined. The weather wasn’t as bad as I had assumed. And the sunset and sunrises weren’t bad either. 😉 Plus, now I can officially say that I’ve camped in the Sahara! Seriously, how many people have done that?!
Sometimes I just need to quiet the side of me that thinks too much and just go for it. If anyone has any tips on that, I’d love to hear them!
Here are some more pictures from the day: