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Thursday, March 21, 2013

So, this one time in the Sahara...

(Disclaimer: This post should actually be called "So, this one time on the way to the Sahara," because the majority of theses pictures were taken en route rather than in the Sahara. But it doesn't have the same ring to it.)

So this one day (March 4th, to be precise) Lottie, Emily,* and I woke up SUPER EARLY (5:30 am?!) to go to...


You know how it is. Nbd. 

Now, at this point I should tell you that you have a few choices for this blog post: You can a) read b) watch this video of me making a fool of myself while telling the tale of the desert days c) look at pictures d) some combo of the above (If you're gonna watch the vid, I'd do that first) or e) none of the above (if you choose e), I suggest the x at the top right!) :)

as told by yours truly

Okay, so we set out in a bus (in the RAIN - apparently I sang the "I bless the rains down in Africa" song a bit too much/too seriously/in too heartfelt a manner, because it worked) and headed out of Marrakesh. We made some new friends (Louise (Northern Irish), Mary (English), Ayush, Michelle, and Nareh (all Californian). As it turns out, if you spend two days driving back and forth to the desert with people, you will form a rather quick bond - it felt like we spent two weeks together instead of just two days! Our group was fantastic, and so hilarious! Anyway, we quickly noticed that Moroccan terrain is extremely diverse - about every 30 minutes to an hour along our drive, it seemed as if we were in a completely different world. It was fairly unbelievable, and we joked that we seemed more like a video game than reality. (You know how in video games, the worlds/levels are all different terrains and atmospheres?!) It was crazy. Flat world, muddy river world, brown world, green world, brown and green world, snow world, rocky mountain world, palm tree world, sand world.... seriously. Just take a look.


See the Berber village on the left side? Quick cultural tidbit! The word Berber refers to an indigenous people group in Northern Africa.

Nice sign, Morocco. (To be fair, it's informative and to the point.)

quick bus driver conference...

This happened FOR REAL.

Also, rain. (I bless the raiiiiins...)

So, as you can tell, our driver would let us out every once in a while to take pictures (photo photo, vite vite, something in Arabic!) and we'd all climb out and take some photos and climb back in. At one point, we got out, and the combination of the rain (first time in a really, really long time in this region, according to our guide) and the sand made this treacherous mud, and we all sank. And got the van REALLY muddy.

Tell me if you think this photo....

...was worth this?

...and this?

This is our guide for the Kasbah Aït Benhaddou, who just kind of showed up in the middle of nowhere on one of our stops... and his chameleon.

Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou... beautiful!
There were a ton of movies filmed at this place, including one of the Indiana Jones movies, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Prince of Persia, and some of the series Game of Thrones.


view from the top of the Kasbah Aït Benhaddou

'Cause I gotta.

And then we left the Kasbah and set out again on our trail...

And at one point we just randomly pulled into this parking lot to let out a couple of girls (weren't aware we were running a taxi), and this guy appeared and threw his guitar in the air. Then we pulled away.


Check out the kid on the donkey!

Can you see the SEA of palm trees behind the buildings?!

Alright, people.... this is where it gets real....

STOP! Camel time!

Is Em... hitch-hiking?

camel crew

It's impossible not to take blurry pics while being jolted by your camel friend!

You can't even see I'm on a camel for the love, what was I thinking?! ps: Hey Lottie heyyy!

This girl's got camel style!

poor guy, post backpack trauma (You gotta watch the video to get that story!)

home sweet tent**

the whole crew, under the big top**
Lottie, Emily, me, Louise, Mary, Nareh, Michelle, Ayush

After we conTENTedly*** hung out with our Berber friends in the party tent (food, music, dancing, à la Berber), we eventually decided to leave the tent and go to bed. We walk out of the tent and see THE MOST MAGNIFICENT DISPLAY of stars... ever. This of course turned into an impromptu group Disney sing-along (Aladdin's "A Whole New World") courtesy of Louise. It also turned into a sing-off thanks to a random Berber guy missing his four front teeth.

That, of course, turned into the singing of "Wake Waka (Time for Africa)" and a mini-dance party. Duh.**

Next morning, lookin' rough, doin' the beauty pageant wave on a camel.**

...then lassoing. Because, well, you know. Texas.**

lunch stop with Em, Louise, and Mary**

Remember that time (in the first Morocco post) when I said Lottie and I may have gone a bit overboard?**

mint teaaaa! (Also this is day two of desert trekking sans shower, so give me a break.)**

back in Marrakesh... desert bond fa life**

Obviously, this was epic. I mean, seriously. My life is ridiculous. And I love it.


*Oh yeah, Emily arrived in Marrakesh the night before! Now we're a trio.

**These pictures are all stolen from... everyone in these pictures. I take no credit. Also my camera died after 10 minutes on the camel soooooo you know.

***This pun was ALL Lottie, my friends! Girl's got game.

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