When Christmas is getting closer everyone starts to think where they should spend those days.. home? Some sunny paradise? A party island somewhere in the world..?? Last year my friend and I ask ourselves the same question, and the answer came from the stars.
I live 6 months a year in London, where I work to sustain my travels, and where I obviously don’t get to see many stars during the nights, when my friend ask me where I will love go this Christmas I said I just wanted to see some stars.
Where could we go, cheap, beautiful, and where the sky was clean from pollution?
I know there are million answers to that question but because we are from Spain we decide the best place will be Morocco, right into the desert: not lights, not pollution, not noise, not parties, cheap, and surely not many people there..
Our flight was to land in Marrakech 29th of December, we had to wait for another friend one day and by 31th early morning we were ready for the 12h bus to Merzouga, a town close to the Erg Chebbi desert.
Because we were arriving there quite late in the night, around 10pm, we book a hostel in advance and the guy was waiting for us when we arrive. He drove us to the hostel, show us our rooms and explain the options we had to go into the desert.
Obviously that first night we spend it in the hostel, a very nice castle-like hostel right in front of the sandy dunes (we knew this in the morning…). It was so late that we went to sleep maybe at 2am and decide we will celebrate New Year eve next day 🙂
Next morning we pack our things and after a proper Moroccan breakfast we just needed to wait for the camels to start the adventure ( 2 nights into the desert, sleeping in a haima, a nomadic tent)
I had seen camels before that day but I had never try to ride one… that day I discover nomads don’t ride camels, they only use them to carry things!! Wonder why…
We ride 4 hours to the haima, stopping at the top of a dune to see the sunset. Our guide was a guy from Merzouga, he never being outside Morocco and even thou he could talk 6 languages! Perfect Darija (language of Morocco) and Bereber (language of the nomads) and very good Spanish, English, German and French. He could also say few things in Chinese and Japanese. Just an amazing man.
By the time we arrive at the haima is was total dark, and I mean TOTAL dark… so imagine what we saw when we look up…omg…we went mad, all the sky was sparkling with little points, some of them not so little, creating crazy figures.
After dinner we decide to walk around, with our guide of course, you don’t want to get lost in there…we lied down somewhere and just look up for hours!!!
Nevertheless we weren’t alone there, and when we came back to our haima another guy came (he was from a haima few km away) and give us lecture about stars, the meaning they had for nomads, how they use them to orientate themselves, to know the time of the day, the time of the year… they could know everything just by looking up.. how lucky they were! how lucky we were to be there…
Next day we had to ride to the oasis, but we decide to walk, as nomads do, all the way down there. We spend the afternoon there and head back to the haima to get some rest. No doubts, that night, we spend again lot of time just lying down on the sand and looking up…now that we knew a bit about them, the stars looked even brighter.
Definitely, my friends and I will never forget those 2 nights there, they felt like one thousand and one night… 🙂