Saturday, 7 March 2015

Under Saharan Stars

This was the most exciting experience of the holiday.
I have to admit to being a tad nervous as the day approached but the thought of the clear Saharan skies soon put a stop to that. I was up for it!!!
After a great day of travelling with stops at hand dug wells, mint tea in Berber tents, a meal at Kasbah Ennasra and time to sunbathe by the pool, trying out camel milk which was cool and refreshing, we reached the Sahara in the late afternoon.
Our patient camels were waiting.....


......we set off into the stunning desert dunes.


We had been expertly wrapped in appropriate headgear.......using our own scarves.



My camel was very benign but it was a bit disconcerting
 to see this view of Steve`s camel by my left thigh.
Just look at those teeth!!




The shadows got longer as the sun sank.
And still we trekked on.



Ibrahim, our guide walked.



After an hour of riding we arrived at the Berber encampment.
Then it was racing up the dunes, which just went up and up and up.....
to go snow-boarding or should I say sand-boarding.
We didn`t take the cameras as we had been warned that the sand
 was fine and could get into the mechanism.


 I admired the beautiful sand lilies and marvelled at the complete and utter silence.

After that we sat watching the sun go down and having a very informative conversation with a Berber lady and her two children, no language necessary.
From there we ran rather unceremoniously, back down the dunes.




After a tasty meal by candlelight, mesmeric entertainment and trying out the Berber drum rhythms, we decided where we were going to sleep. By this time the myriad stars were out......what a sky!! Paula had an app for her phone. When you pointed it at the sky, 
it named the star constellations. Fantastic.

The young ones dragged their beds high up into the dunes.


We could have slept in the tents.....


.......but we decided to sleep under the stars near the fire.


We had our own sleeping bags and as many thick blankets as we wanted.
Paula even set up bedside tables.
It was cold. We kept most of our clothes on.
No bathrooms as such but two flushing loos.
I am still wondering where it flushed to.

I slept really well with a blanket right over my head as the wind got up.

We were all up early....surprise surprise.....and off by 6.30.
 
 
Back at the camel base, breakfast was laid out so beautifully for us.
We were starving.


Unfortunately we had to dash inside when a sandstorm blew up.
Luckily it hadn`t spoilt our ride back.

Not long after that we got back to Kasbah Ennasra, where we were 
booked into a room just to freshen up.......a great idea.

This was a quite wonderful experience and I will remember it always.
For anyone wondering whether this is for them, I assure you that if we can do it, so can you.

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