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  • Day6

    Travelling to Marrakech

    May 6, 2019 in Morocco ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    Our bags had been loaded onto the pickup truck together with one or two of the group who decided to return to the hotel, and therefore our minibus, on four wheels instead of four legs. They just couldn’t face riding the camels through the desert dunes not because of the heat, the driving sun or the undoubted craving for water ... no, they wimped out to save their bottoms, knowing we had at least an eleven hour drive in the minibus to get back to Marrakech. There was no denying that was going to be endurance so they had decided it was prudent to take the camel-free option.

    The rest of us, including Katrina (that’s her in the blue top in photo two) rode the camels attempting to take photos on the way. Just as on the journey outbound, this proved tricky because the suspension on a camel hasn’t evolved to the same sophisticated degree as its ability to survive without water in a desert. As a result, many of the photos I did attempt were out of focus and my inner thighs and bottom complained about my choice of the camel-inclusive option for at least 24 hours afterwards. I’m not complaining though because I really enjoyed being on that camel train and would undoubtedly do it again given the chance. I was gasping for a cold drink at the end though and also appreciated why the Berbers wear their tagelmust cloth headdress, because after a while you can pretty much taste the sand. On reflection, I think all this would have been a completely different experience had there been any sort of wind whilst we were amongst the dunes. Photography would perhaps have been a bit of a nightmare.

    Soon we were back aboard the minibus and starting the long drive home. I’ve included our last view of the Sahara sand dunes as we left and a snapshot of where we stopped for lunch. We did stop more often but only briefly to allow our driver to rest for a while and for us to get a cold drink.

    You’re maybe wondering why I’ve included a photo of a load of electricity pylons. It’s not the pylons which are of interest but that glowing thing in the background - the photo is of a solar power station and I’d seen something similar in southern Spain, but was amazed to see one here. It works because surrounding that glowing column are hundreds of mirrors which reflect the sunlight and focus it at the top of the tower. The heat created by this is used to generate electricity. How clever is that!

    There’s no denying this was a very long day. The last part of the journey was in the dark and was somewhat frantic as the road was now full of heavy lorries travelling in both directions. Our driver negotiated all this using his best Moroccan driving skills which meant at times it was best if you closed your eyes and hoped for the best. Hopefully our driver didn’t also do this.

    We were all tired when we arrived in Marrakech and I’m sure that, like me, everyone had no problem falling asleep when they finally got to bed.
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