After two days of trying to adapt to travelling alone in Lisbon, It was a welcomed change to once again have to pack up and spend half the day on the move. Being on the move with a goal in the end, was easier than having to sit in my room and decide what to do next.
I was on my way to Marrakech, Morocco. A multitude of firsts on this side trip adventure; from the first time putting my feet on to the continent of Africa, to being fully engulfed in a Muslim country, and finally going into the worlds largest desert. This is why I travel, these firsts make my mind explode with curiosities and growth.
I have come to understand myself more in the past years, and one of the biggest realizations is that I do not like day to day “new” things. In the long term; I do better when I can set up a routine and go day to day without much wandering outside those lines. My health gets stronger, my goals are met and my confidence surges.There needs to be a ying to that yang to this, and that is why I allow myself a short period of complete and utter oppositeness to that life of routine. I try find a new area for growth –— going into new cultures, finding my way around a third world country, and meet othering people whose idea of life is completely different than mine, while at the same time inside we don’t differ at all.
Marrakech was explosion of colours, smells, and sights as soon as left the airport. And it only grew as we made our way to the Riad. What really made me come to the realization I was in a different world ( and had been looking forward to this moment since I had booked my flight back in Vancouver just a week back ) was when I heard the first daily prayer come over the loud speakers of the Mosques in the city. I am as religious as a stick of wood, but hearing that sound gave me chills. Concrete in my beliefs in the path of my life to get to this point I was at, it was 11pm and I was sitting on a patio overlooking the Souk sipping a strong Turkish coffee in Africa … life was good.I had 6 days there, so I looked up the day trips to take and my eyes came across a three day camel ride in the desert. As soon as I read that mentally committed to doing it! Not knowing it was a trip to the Sahara Desert, I have a uncanny knack of reading headlines and not looking at all that might be needed to know. But this wasn’t a problem in this case, It just made for great excitement when one of the travellers told me what desert I was actually headed to.
The three day journey which I booked through Riad was €90 and consisted of a twelve hour drive split up over one and half days. There were multiple spots on the way to see a few tourist sights, one being a location in season three of Game of Thrones. At the end of the second day we finally reached Merzouga where the Sahara encroached its sandy tentacles through every wisp of air. From here we changed transportation and hopped onto our camels and slowly prodded an hour and half into the dunes.
That night was spent in a circle of tents at the base of a massive dune. It was so hot at 2 AM in the open tents, that I found the perfect place to sleep was actually out in the open underneath the vast expanse of stars with not a city light within a 100km. The perfect equation for me… utter extreme … with a deafening quiet.