Sunday, August 31, 2008

i met a man called Mohamad

Er-Racidia was a bit of a hole when I finally got there… after such a wonderful day rather a let down…a huge wind came up filling everything with fine sand , then some huge, lazy drops a rain which cleared the air and smelt so fine. I found some dinner and slept like a log and got up early to catch the next local bus down the road a bit further- they really packed the seats in on this bus- I am not tall yet could hardly fit my legs in between the seats and every bump added nicely to my collection of bruises on my knees. Fabulous scenery, rugged rocky country, luscious palmeries [those green oasis where the palm tree grows] and the first hint of the sands of the Sahara I am heading towards…
I jump off the bus at Erfoud, and take a coffee [such a brazen hussy invading the men’s café space] and get hassled by some young tout all ready to fulfil my every wish…the leer he makes the offer with implies it is not only my shopping and sightseeing needs he would take care of. Yuk!!
Soon gave hima good ticking off, saying as a mother I would be ashamed of my son behaing that way!
and walked off as if I knew where I was going...sorting of heading the right direction for a hotel I wanted to check out, wondering what I would do next...all I could think of was how to see the Sahara ...wanting directions I popped into a shop, this took my eye...
cups of sweet green tea, and buckets of water later, I had seen every carpet in the shop almost and had their origins explained [partly a diversionary tactic on my part so I don't have to say yes to yet another cup of tea, and because the guys were so knowledgable and interesting...]
being dragged home to Mama and the family for THE most wonderful couscous lunch..I have met the Morocan man I was wanting to meet. Parveen is safe in my affections, this is purly business- he is going to take me to the Sa-h-ara -pronounce the H in there!
The friendly brothers Bashir and Mohamad...
a rug I really liked...
we set off out of town about 3.00pm...and headed off road, past a nomad's camp...and more tea as we were asked to stop.[this family came from Mali a few years ago when the drought drove them out, spent some time in Algeria but moved on because of the troubles and are now happy on the Moroccan edge of the Sahara.

past a whole mountain of ancient fossils...

starting to get closer
I was trying to be grown up and take everything in quietly but really wanted to bounce up and down in my seat, squeal with excitment and yell "are we there yet?"
I did manage to contain myself but as I get to know Mahamod and realise his love of the desert I think he probably would not have been too shocked by me, even pleased with my enthusasm.
and here it is Erg Chebbi [Erg is like an area of sand dunes, Chebbi is this area's name]the start of the Sahara Desert!!
wow, wow and WOW!!
I made it!

and really this was only the beginning of an amazing evening...

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