The 8 hour bus ride across the High Atlas mountains was scenic. While Sara felt a bit gayat at some points, Dylan was feeling car sick. Nevertheless, we reached Zagora in one piece.
Zagora is a town in the fertile Draa Valley on the edge of the Western Sahara. We stayed the night at Le Petit Kasbaha, a charming little riad at the edge of town.
After a scrumptious breakfast of bread with homemade jam (orange, carrot and lemon) and cheese, we started our journey into the desert.
After a few hours passing through the Draa valley and stony desert, we reached Mt Hamid, the final outpost town before the big desert. From here, we had two options to get to our intended destination, the sand dunes of Erg Chigaga: 1) in three days on camel; or 2) in three hours by 4×4. We chose the 4×4.
We stopped at a wadi for lunch. This wadi is inhabited by a nomad family, who have built rest facilities for passing tourists (covered resting place, kitchen, but for toilets you need to walk as far as you want away from the wadi). Mustafa, our guide, cook and caretaker made our lunch of Moroccan salad and grilled chicken kebab and it was g-o-o-d.
Mustafa said it was a good day to go into the desert as it was not that sunny, with lots of cloud cover. However this same cloud cover also prevented us from seeing the sun set (and sun rise the next morning.)
We arrived at our campsite, a sparse area among the sand dunes, around 5pm. Mustafa whipped up a mean tagine for dinner, the best we’ve had so far.
Sara’s encounter with a camel and other stories in our next update.