Journey to the Sahara Desert
Toward the end of May, I had the amazing opportunity to go on a Travel Girls Getaway (@travelgirlsgetaways) trip led by the wonderful Becky van Dijk (@beckyvandijk). I have never done a trip like this before and to be honest, I was a little scared to do it all by myself. I’m so glad I decided to go on the trip because it’s one I will remember for the rest of my life. I loved getting to know all the other women on the trip while getting to explore a new country. This post will be the first in a series where I talk about everything we did while in Morocco.
On the first day of our trip, we took a 4.5 hour bus ride to a riad (a lodging similar to a hotel) close to Aït Ben Haddou, which is about half way to the Sahara Desert. Upon arriving, we set our luggage in the rooms and began exploring the court yard of the riad. We ended this night with a lovely Moroccan dinner and a glass of rosé. The next morning, our guide Hassan showed us around Ben Haddou, a berber village. He explained to us the history behind the village as well as introduced us to some of the locals living there. We had the opportunity to go into one of the homes of the residents. I think this was one of the highlights of the trip for me because it really allowed me to see what the daily life of someone living there was like. The woman living there weaves rugs in her spare time and had a whole guest room filled with the beautiful rugs she had made. After touring around the village for a little while longer, we got back on the bus to complete the rest of our journey to the Sahara Desert.
Once we arrived to the edge of the desert, we prepared for our camel ride to the desert camp. For those of you who have never rode a camel, I recommend it (from an ethical company of course). It’s kind of similar to riding a horse, in my opinion. We rode the camels for about an hour and a half before arriving to our luxurious desert camp. Our camp was so gorgeous. Moroccan rugs lined the way to our tents, which had two twin beds, a dresser, and a working toilet (still not sure how they got those all the way out there). In the middle of the camp, there was a sitting area around a fire pit, which we sat around all night while eating and drinking. Throughout the night, a small band and dancers would come and entertain us with traditional music and dancing. The next morning, a few of us decided to get up to watch the sunrise and man was it worth it. Seeing the sun peak over the rolling sand dunes was one of the most magical things. And what else does one do while watching the sunrise in the Sahara? A photoshoot of course! I had so much fun shooting pictures of people twirling and running through the dunes.
If you are considering traveling to Morocco, I highly recommend taking a trip to the Sahara. By no means is it close to other destinations in the state but it is completely worth it to allot time to go. The scenery is as breath taking as people say it is and it is truly an experience like no other.