Tuesday, 5 March 2013

across the atlas and into the desert .....

We have been in Spain a few days but before I write of it, I must tell you of our trip to the desert in Morocco. Only a two day taste but an unforgettable memory.

Eight of us from the conference, two drivers and our guide Aziz drove almost to the Algerian border, across the High Atlas and Anti Atlas mountains, the Black Mountains, down to the edge of the Sahara for a tip toe into Berber nomadic life. Aziz is one of seven children born to a camel trader who put all seven of his children through school and university. A few of them are now in the tourism industry and many are teachers. Aziz is studying for his masters degree presently and was a very gentle young man with a gift for what he is doing. He was able to share not only the joy of his people but expand on current ideas and historical thought.

You can see from the photos (once again I wish I was doing this through the computer with better quality photos) how arid and awe inspiring the Atlas Mountains are - intriguing formations and then nestled into most gullies, Berber villages which blend into their backdrop. We had our pottery and artifact stops along the way and enjoyed delicious tagine on kasbah rooftops in congenial company.

Our all day drive managed to get us to the very first of the sand dunes - certainly enough to pretend we were deep in the Sahara with Lawrence of Arabia. The men all donned their white turbans and looked their part! Sleeping in a Berber tent was a little like sleeping inside a vacuum dust bag ...... very little sleep was had but the experience will be a lasting memory. Sunrise over the desert was almost more wonderful than sunset. As luck would have it, there was also a full moon that night. Just perfect.


  1. Fabulous, the architecture in the villages is just so much part of the landscape and using what is there.
    I expect you would want to buy some of the pots etc - I know I would.
    I am sure the food would be excellent, simple good ingredients.
    Don't think I would overlike the feeling of being in vacuum bag but it does describe it well.
    Love the white turbans too.
    What is the conference tour you are on it sounds great ?
    Look forward to the next episode in your travels.


  2. S - some amazing memories in those photos - love the village in such an arid setting yet tuffs of green. Go well. B

  3. Susan -- what a wonderful trip this is, and what gorgeous photos! thanks for sharing

  4. Stunning photos. I especially love seeing the camel.

  5. Ohhh, is right. I wonder how this will influence your art. The colors of the desert are simply stunning.

  6. Shadows in the dunes, lines, ripples, drifts...I imagine your art brain is ticking over and getting full! Travel safe and enjoy.

  7. Stunning, stunning! Another cyclone brewing possibly so don't rush back Sally Keyes xxxx

  8. Desert colors all around.. there seems to be a gentleness in the drifts and ripples and shadows.. yet I know the desert can be unforgiving in the heat and sun and lack of water. What a wonderful experience you are having.

  9. So glad I found your post! Fascinating! What a wonderful and adventurous trek!

  10. Yes, to all of the above - I'm green with envy -photos are great, so don't worry about the iphone.

  11. Sure beats Caloundra! Jealous, jealous Sally xxxxx


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