29.02.2008 - 09.03.2008 30 °C
So here I arrived at M'Hamid, which is the end of the road and the beginning of the desert. It's a normal one-street moroccan town with a lot of rubbish lying around and a nice kasbah.
As usual I was immediately assaulted by guides that wanted to bring me to a specific hotel. This really sucks in Morocco. After spending one night in a very dirty room (it costed only 20 Dh, though), I spent one day to go from one tour organisation to the other to compare their offers for desert treks (and better rooms). They all offer the same camel or 4x4 rides to the same destinations at the same price after haggling. So I chose to stay with the people from Iguidi tours at the furthest end of the village because they were the friendliest (they also invited me for dinner...). They have set up a small bivouac maybe 2 km away from the town in the beginning of the desert.
I decided to go walking for 5 days in the desert with one guide and a dromedar to carry food, water, blankets, and the tent.
The tour took us to Erg Zaher, a big dune (around 50m high, although the guide claims it's 250m high) a bit more than 50 km away (2 days walking). Here I am on top of the dune:
This dune is in the middle of a large sandy area with smaller dunes.
We came back using another route. On the fourth day we met a one-armed herdsman with whom we baked some sand-bread (I love this bread!)
After 5 days we had made around 120 km in the desert, mostly under a burning sun. My guide Ibrahim was as fresh as on the first day, though. I really don't know how these people can walk wearing at least 3 layers under the mid-day sun, it's crazy!
Anyway I stayed at the Iguidi bivouac for 4 or 5 more days, since I had become friends with the people there. I slept in the communal room and ate with them for free. They even gave me a saharawi robe and a shesh as a gift, so I was appropriately dressed :-) (and a saharawi name, they named me naji, which means something like "distant" or "far away" I think).
I helped them out sometimes as a cameleer for rides with tourists, that was such fun :-D Every evening we sung and played tam-tam and djembe at the campfire.
I really enjoyed this time with the saharawi. Here's a video of a farewell-song some of them made for me (They call me "Fabriciou" here, this is how they decided to pronounce my real name :-)
Now I'm in Casablanca again and it sucks! Fortunately I'm leaving for Tunis tomorrow.