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The Sahara, Morocco Desert


 
Morocco desert road trip was epic!

I saw a new side of this Western Sahara wonder, it’s beautiful! Glad I got there and watched the Sahara sunset. It’s nothing can describe with words. My tears just naturally came out.

The nomad camp was awesome! When you laid on the sand in complete darkness, the wind, the sand blowing on your body, on your hands, your face and counting shooting stars over your heads with wonderful people camping with.. wowww I wanted to stay longer in the desert. I cannot describe how awesome it was! This journey gives an unforgettable flavour of the Sahara.

 

 

Part 1: In the desert

(To continue from my last post..) the second day around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, we finally arrived in Merzouga.

From Marrakesh, across the magnificence of the Atlas Mountains to the gate of the Sahara desert where we stopped and took an hour break in a pleasant hotel and had some great fun in the swimming pool before we hit the desert.

 


pool in the middle of desert

 

 

 


little shady house on the side of the road for people convenience

 

 

 


power v natural

 

 

 


natural v power

 

 

 


sandy landscape

 

 

 


the gate to the dunes, sun setting

 

 

Part 2: Camel Trekking

Well, camel trekking may not be the most comfortable means of travelling for some, but it is undoubtedly a ‘must’ for every traveller as a way to experience the mode of transport of the Berber nomads of the Sahara.

Around 5 o’clock, just two hours before sunset we ride camel with a desert guide at sunset for approx. one and a half hours into the dunes, to the nomad camp. The weather was perfect, the sun was setting, we made it in time to watch the amazing sunset over the huge sand.

 


nice to meet you my mover buddy

 

 

 


on the move with Zju Zju

 

 

 


eyes the colour of the sands

 

 

 


we are fantastic four

 

 

 


so much bigger than it’s possible to capture in a photo

 

 

 


watching the sunset from behind

 

 

Part 3: Meet The Nomads

We arrive to the nomad camp around 6 o’clock where we stayed at the camp for the night.

We first had a welcome mint tea with the nomads in the camp. After dinner the nomads played Berber music for us around the campfire.

We spent the evening around a campfire, slept under nomads tents uncovered around the campfire simply under an amazing, majestic sky I have ever seen in my life. It is one of the perfect place to set up your camera, capture shooting stars and evening shy in complete darkness without light pollution at all.

 


you are cool!!

 

 

 


light up our life

 

 

 


warm me up

 

 

 


moment of romantic (with a group)

 

 

 


nomads played Berber music around the campfire

 

 

 


goodnight fellows

 

 

Part 4: The Third Day

The next morning we woke up at 6 o’clock and we ride camels back to the hotel in Merzouga.

It was another beautiful sunny day, and I was in pure awe at the richness of color in this land. Once we got back to the hotel in Merzouga, we had a shower and breakfast there. After breakfast we got into the vans drove back to Marrakesh.

I did not take much picture on the third day. The tiredness emerged naturally after 3 days constant moving on the road.

Below are few highlights of the Sahara desert on Moroccan land. I have to say that it was an awesome trip. Glad I made it to Sahara – travel halfway around the world to experience the wonder.

 

 


berber leading camel in the desert

 

 

 


close your eyes feel the wonder moment, just awesome!

 

 

 


enjoying Berber play African drum 

 

But also my awesome group I met in the bus, and a beautiful experience. I cannot describe how awesome it was!

 


inside the bus

 

 

 

Pictures of the desert: Sahara, its landscapes, its men, and Zju Zju.

 

 

Wrap up

The beautiful landscape and the nature were the highlights of the desert camp. And look, I felt so little, the desert is just huge.

Travelling with stranger is odd at first. We were a small group. After 2 days with new friends I met in the bus, they surely had contributed a big part in my awesome experience!

I met lots of fabulous people on the road. Not say hi and bye. I mean spending time travelling together, sharing joy, happiness and experience. I would have to say I was so glad that they were encountered into my life of travel.

To say goodbye to a bunch of wanderers was not fun. At the end of the trip I joined three Dutches to Casablanca instead of the original planned destination Fez.

Have you been on a road trip and had a fabulous experience with stranger you met on the road or next to you while travelling? You never know who you’ll sit next to or meet, that’s one way to add excitement to your travel.

 
Related Post:
Epic Road Trip To Morocco Desert (Part 1)
Camel trekking in Sahara
World Map on Moroccan wall
Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, Morocco
24 hours in Marrakech Morocco
A stroll in a local Marrakech

 
See you in Lisbon, Portugal

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Coffee Moments |1| Photo

Flat white in Glebe, Sydney

Coffee lover – and I am for sure.

I love the aroma of fresh brewed coffee, the smell of coffee beans, the variety, the cup, the art of the barista, my senses come alive.. some people like black coffee, some people like white coffee.  It’s just an acquired taste.

I enjoy sitting in a cafe anywhere around the world, watching the street life like and taste a cup of local coffee. I’ve learned to appreciate all the work that goes into a cup of coffee. Maybe something only other coffee lovers will appreciate. But again, it shows that a humble cup of coffee can also make a great shooting opportunities everywhere when I travel RTW.

See you on my next post!

Coffee Moments Around The World | hope you enjoy your cup! 😉

24 hours in Marrakech Morocco

 

I’ve always wanted to explore North African Sun – Marrakesh, Morocco finally. As principal of solo travel I stayed at a tradition riad hostel in the old town. The riad is about 20 minutes walk away to the souks and the Djemaa el Fna Square neighbourhood, which offered the chance to observe Marrakech on a local level.

In Morocco, you’ll find amazing architecture, and one of the best dream travel destinations for traveller where it seems it’s almost impossible to take a bad photograph. To me, this beautiful country appealed to me a colourful world, veiled women, distinct muslim culture..there seems to be no shortage of interesting subjects.

 

11am

Part 1: Hammam Moroccan Bath

After breakfast, the riad housekeeping lady took few other travellers and I to the local Hammam – the Moroccan style public baths. It is a bit similar as the Japanese onsen – hot spring public baths, though the Hammam retreat was my first time.

I was surrounded by naked women. To be honest I was kind of embarrassed. I received an intense head-to-toe scrub-down experience, a full body cleansing and exfoliating until several layers peel off like strands of dirty spaghetti by using Olive oil black soap. You’ll be amazed dead skins that falls off your body and you’ll literally leave in new skin. Later lay down on the stone floor which took one-and-a-half-hours to complete. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable cultural experience you won’t forget.

 
 
 
 

2pm

Part 2:  The souks

You can’t leave Marrakech without at least a quick visit to the souk’s. Marrakech has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco. The souks are situated on the narrow streets — some covered and some open-air comprising mainly the bazaars, colourful handicrafts and workshops for which Marrakech is so well known. You can also find all kind of things there, from fine leather goods, spices to beauty products, tea pots to tagines, beautiful jewellery cheap but nice souvenirs and much much more. Seriously you can spend a whole day to walk around the souks.

 

colourful

 
 
 
 

lovely lamps

 
 
 
 

the shop front

 
 
 
 

 

jewellery and nice souvenirs

 
 
 
 

handcrafts

 
 
 
 

100% natural products – herbs and moroccan toothpicks made by plant

 
 
 
 

rug sellers, art sellers

 
 
 
 

dutchy by morocco

 
 
 
 

eyes on reflections

 
 
 
 

the leather goods area

 
 
 
 
 

Part 3: The men and women

 

the men business

 
 
 
 

beauty products shop

 
 
 
 

white on man v. black on woman

 
 
 
 

street view

 
 
 
 
 

5.30pm

Part 4: Djemaa el Fna Square

This buzzing square is at the heart of Marrakech in the Old City. There are different entrances to get into the Square where you may get lost easily. I only had a chance to visit once in the afternoon. I highly recommend visiting twice, once at daytime and then at night, it’s important since it becomes a completely different place each time particularly the crowds and the foods stall in the evening.

It’s amazingly interesting to visit the square. It was crowded with jugglers, acrobats, storytellers, musicians, snake charmers, horse riding services and juice stalls. We stopped at the snake charmers performance in the centre of the square surrounding by crowds and locals. And yes, that’s how I ended up being entertained by snakes. Looks can be deceiving but again, as the tourist it all seemed pretty fun!

 

snake charmer performing

 
 
 
 

pattern of hanger

 
 
 
 

me and the snake

 
 
 
 

fresh orange juice stalls

 
 
 
 

a soft drink or fresh juice?

 
 
 
 
 

6.30pm

Part 5: The neighbourhood

The Koutoubia Mosque is very close to the riad hostel. It’s the city landmark and the largest mosque in Marrakech. The 65m high medieval Islamic architecture can clearly visible from far. As this is a 1000 years historic old building and place of prayer, it has been restored and still the most important mosque in the city.

After turning many, many corners, I decided to stay back in the hostel – enjoy some mint teas, relax my feet in a beautiful authentic Moroccan house, shisha on the roof top.

 

the Koutoubia Mosque

 
 
 
 

earthy outside, colourful inside

 
 
 
 

no evil please!

 
 
 
 

open air

 
 
 
 

let’s have a cup of mint tea

 
 
 
 

open top in the house

 
 
 
 

can you imagine one dish one household, how many satellite dishes in Marrakech?

 
 
 
 

inside the hostel

 
 
 
 

shisha-ing in Morocco

 
 

The remarkable colours of Morocco shown by photos like these are amazing. Next it will be the wonder of Sahara desert. See you in next post.

 

Space pic this week: Jupiter and Venus

Jupiter & Venus on 20 March 2012. Taken with my compact small camera.

No, they are not aircraft landing lights, but the two brightest worlds in the sky, Venus and Jupiter. I was amazed that I was able to see the two most brilliant worlds-the brightest lights of Venus and Jupiter pop out at evening dusk with unaided eyes. They are the closest in years – March 2012 and near the moon by the month’s end.

I just got off from work, and it was around 8.00pm AEDT in Sydney on 20 March. The two worlds look a little to the north of west as the sky starts becoming dark. I was lucky had my compact camera in my handbag, used the surface of my car to provide firm support for my camera. It is relatively easy to photograph such bright planets without the Moon light.

According to Sydney Observatory, “the position of Venus and Jupiter from 6 to 26 March 2012 low in the north-west can be seen in the sky. Each evening they are in a slightly different position with respect to each other. Arguably, the best sight will be on 26 March when the crescent Moon moves between the two bright planets. That will definitely be worth seeing and photographing. Conjunctions of Venus and Jupiter do happen every few years and are always worth observing. The most recent similar conjunction was the wonderful ‘smiley face’ one of 1 December 2008 when the Moon joined the two bright planets to form a smiling face.” If you are in Sydney – Australia, try this Monthly Sky Guides to help you find your way around the sky.

Good luck with observing the two close worlds this month in March 2012. No matter where you are on Earth now, you can’t miss these two worlds in the west as darkness falls! 😉

 

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