One of the most incredible experiences, amongst all others I’ve had while studying in Morocco, has been the trip to the Sahara Desert, which was well worth the 12 hour drive for only a day spent there. To be quite honest, the advertisement for this trip was probably 75% of my reasoning for choosing Morocco to study abroad in, in the first place. As one of my friends put it, “it seriously feels like a dream,” in the sense of surrealness of the experience, but also craziness.
In order to get to the desert, we had to drive over the Atlas Mountains to head to the southeast corner of Morocco. On the way there, we were met with rain, snow, and monkeys we got to leave the buses to go feed. Not exactly something you normally think of when venturing to the largest desert in the world.
As we go got closer to our destination, and as the sun was setting, we were forewarned that the desert would be completely dark at night. But even when you’re told something like that, you aren’t fully prepared until you see it for yourself. I’ve lived in cities basically my whole life, and my family isn’t one to go camping much, so you can only imagine what a shock true darkness without any light pollution was for me.
Never have I ever seen so many stars in my life. I don’t think I could ever truly express to someone how incredible and humbling that was for me.
The next day, we got to hear some Gnawa music from a local village group, and got to ride jeeps through sand dunes. That afternoon, it was time for camels. One thing no one tells you prior to riding camels is that it’s a lot tougher and harder on your muscles than riding a horse. They led us to a high sand dune where we got to watch the sunset. Again, watching the sunset, in the Sahara Desert, is such a surreal experience.
Though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every place I’ve traveled to in Morocco, this was by far the most incredible.
What a way to spend Thanksgiving, am I right?
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Hello! I'm Sarah Miyahara; originally Southern born, California raised, Chicago educated, and now Morocco living! Taking a break from life at Loyola University Chicago where I study International Studies, Political Science, and Peace Studies, to spend my first semester of my junior year abroad. I've always loved photography, particularly because it's the only art I've ever been good at, and now I can't wait to share my photos with you!</p>