Camping in the Sahara

April 2, 2012

Off we went to camp in the desert and ride a camel.

We climbed into a couple of 4x4s with expert drivers and took off. We hadn’t been on the road very long when we veered off into unmarked, unpaved, unsteady terrain whose surface was covered with stones, some of them pretty large. It made for a rocky ride and not a very slow one, either. As we bounced around the road, our driver, who had a devilish look in his smiling eyes, began a conversation with me.

Do you speak Berber? he asked. The question was in Berber, but it was still clear.
No. Do you speak English? I responded.
No. Speak French? he tried again in French.
No. Italian? or Spanish?
No. C’est la vie! he said, and continued bouncing us across the desert.

I loved that his first question was whether or not I spoke Berber. Like that would be something an American tourist CLEARLY not of Moroccan descent would speak. I guess we aren’t the only ethnocentric people in the world, after all. 

After 45 minutes of bouncing around, he took a sharp turn and off we went into the endless dunes of the Sahara.

The Sahara. Until then, it had been pictures in magazines. But there I was, in a 4×4 zooming around the dunes as if I’d been born to it.

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