Part 6 of the Morocco backpacking series: Backpacking through Morocco
Day 6: Camel ride
Mark exchanged 2000 Dh
Rental car 072 641 511
Phone split: 5 Dh
Water split: 12 Dh
Lunch split: 170 Dh
Hotel split: 102 Dh
Caravan split: 1500 Dh
Dinner split: 120 Dh
An emotional goodbye
Holding hands with the little girl, the symbolism of such a picture crossed my mind. Est-ce qu’on va me prend comme paedophile? Her frail silhouette trembled against the harsh unforgiven desert wind, drawing pity and sympathy from onlookers. For that one moment in my life, I had a perfect clarity on life’s single purpose: to ensure that she doesn’t trip on her way to beg.
The desert consmes the weak. Such is the way in Merzouga.
She’s barely strong enough to hang on to my thumb and it’d be easy for me to shake my hands free, but I made an effort to let her hold on to my thumb comfortably so that I can make her life just a bit easier for the short moment that our roads cross. I couldn’t bring myself to look at her because I feel ashamed of the comfortable life I have. Yet I didn’t want to let go for fear that I will discard this meeting as irrelevant. So there our shadows walked, alone, on the sand dunes of Zagora. Life became real and this is not a crook after tourist money, but a girl begging for a few more days to live and possible reprieve from hunger.
That set the tone for the rest of the day and the rest of the trip. I believe it was a turning point worth noting. Where the party stopped and the spiritual journey began.
I was deeply humbled. For the adventure in traveling is deeply glorified. At that moment, I saw it for what it is. A safe way for sheltered people to pretend to risk our lives and hopefully gleam the excitement of a dangerous life that we wished. I can never do what these people do to survive this far so stop pretending.
How can I ever hope to change anything so problem
atic as this? How can anybody manages to do that? This scene the type of picture you’d see on National Geographic or the infomercials that asks you to support a child. You see it, hear it, read about it and talk about it but the moment you are in it, you begin to understand why these people are making an effort to reach out to us in the comfort of our air conditioned chairs.
Waking up in the desert
Like always, I woke up earlier when traveling which allowed me to enjoy the quiet desert sunrise before the other tourists wake up. When there is no wind in the desert, the sand absorbs all sounds. It made me wonder why I enjoyed the Dune series so much. Is it because I longed for a life like this? Solitude and peace with nature with simple joys of making music while eating bread and drinking water.
Rest of the journey
We asked to be dropped off at Ouarzazatte after saying good bye to our great companions and found our way to hotel Royal. For a well needed bath smack in the middle of nowhere at 102 Dh a day for 2 people with shower. We asked around for a guided tour towards El-Rachidia, but it seems like there isn’t many tourists here interested. I thought it’d be the opposite since this is closer to the camel ride destination. Because of the fact, they cannot use economy of scale to reduce prices, private tour comes down to 3500 Dh. We will probably end up renting cars.
In the end, we joined the group after at hotel royal for 750 Dh each towards the east. After hunting is done, we watched a game of soccer with the locals. I am glad that there’s one thing that everyone in the world can relate to and that is soccer.