Why do people travel?
*Some say to enrich our lives by learning and experiencing other cultures that are different to what we are used to. *
Oftentimes, there are places that are difficult to forget and stays with you. For some, a place can also change one' perspective in life that can be either temporary or perhaps permanently. The Berbers in the desert are friendly and simple people, trying to make a living and doing their best in whatever capacity or role their jobs entail in the camps.
Unknowingly, I was the only tourist staying at that time in the traditional camp. From the moment of arrival, they made me feel like family that needed looking after, this to reassure me for sure. Although there was a family of 4 in going to Erg Chebbi, I got separated as theirs was a luxury camp beside mine, a few yards away.
It took a while of a camel trek coming down from the sand dunes after watching the sunset. Going towards a big lump of an old tree, the accommodations can only be seen as one reached the camp. Arranged in a row, there were 5 accommodation of rooms that surround and within the base of the tree. Concrete steps were built in accessing the 3 rooms intricately built with the lower branches used to stabilised some walls and doors made of thick carpets. All rooms have own concrete toilet/shower with wooden posts so they are very secure.
As the only tourist, I was given the biggest room, having a queen and a single beds. Dragging the queen's quilt over to the single bed with already 2 Berber blankets on top, I have had warm nights although a bit of weight just to keep the cold away. In the middle of winter, those will do without an electric blanket.
The luxury was having my own bathroom in my accommodation with a hot water! Keep in mind that the location is in the middle of the desert.
After a restful night was the exploration of the whole accommodation, most especially the lounge by the tree, though not at the top. Outside was a small table with a cushioned bench, a nice area to chill at night and during summer as it's totally blocked out from the sun.
Along the tree trunk were wooden steps to access the lounge. With a couple of tables, low-lying and cushioned benches were scattered around giving you that feeling of home and relaxation. As it was winter, I brought a blanket as without any ray of the sun, it was chilly.
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This place can bring you back to childhood I promise you.
From here, the laid out blanket under the sun beckoned and torn between the two, comfort did win in the end as I finished reading my book out in the sun. Tall dunes in the west were hidden from the veranda so suffice to say, under the sun was more appealing. With my feet playing with the sand, the sun warming my cheeks and gazing at the panoramic and undulating sand before me, am sure the Berbers will not chose to be elsewhere anytime soon.
Not that I did, but not without trying.
Initially, from afar it wasn't so daunting to climb as it looked as if this tall sand dune wasn't so steep. It became blatant standing at the foot of it. The technique is to start at the middle and traverse on the way up. Proper shoes must be worn though as it was a real struggle to lift one foot after another as it gets imbedded on the sand. It can be tiring but the 180 degrees view can be so inspiring where reaching the top isn't the goal anymore. Of course, it's still a personal achievement if ever.
From the top to the East, the Algerian border can be seen where a long canyon can be seen similar to the Grand Canyon in Arizona which was noticeable from the road when coming from Northern Morocco.
Although there is electricity sourced from solar panels, here it is limited. Perhaps the small illumination of the place is compensated by numerous Moroccan lamps in and around the property, giving that multi-coloured lights and shadows that makes the nights romantic, though dark enough to see the Moroccan skylight.
The locals are fond in saying that the galaxy can be seen in Erg Chebbi, compared to London where not a single star can be seen, numerous stars do lit the desert sky. Perhaps in the summer, the goal would be to sleep under the stars the Berber way.
All images were taken by me with Huawei.
[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 31.080529 lat -3.973233 long Living like the Berbers in Erg Chebbi! d3scr)
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