Waking up at 6am is hard enough on a normal day, but waking up after a night of sleeping in below freezing temperatures was even harder than normal. Even with the promise of a once in a lifetime sunrise, Joe and I were definitely putting off getting out from under the blankets for as long as possible. I imagine it goes without saying that the sunrise was totally worth the 6am wake up and temporary loss of feeling in fingers and toes ??
After a quick breakfast (during which we all passed around the teapot in hopes of gaining feeling back in our fingers,) a few of us decided to try sand boarding before hitting the road (well, hitting the…sand, dirt, and rocks?) by 8am. For some reason no one showered either, I guess icy cold water didn’t seem too appealing ?
As we made our way out of the Sahara, we stopped in the middle of Lake Iriki (dried up for the vast majority of the year,) and at a nomad family’s camp, where I got to hold a baby goat that was born maybe 2 days prior. So cute. It did poop on my Birkenstock AND on my sock, but totally worth it.
On today’s drive (we did end up making it back out onto a real road eventually,) Ibrahim told us that our driver (who doesn’t speak a lick of English) is having woman troubles; there are two women fighting over him. In Morocco it is legal for a man to have 4 wives, so we suggested he just marry both. Problem solved, right? Wrong. He wants to marry one light and one dark woman. Not two of the same. #MoroccanProblems
Also on today’s drive, Ibrahim planned an entire life for him and Jenna, the Australian in our group. Joe and I are invited to visit, phew.
Before lunch, we stopped at a women’s rug cooperative (that’s the word I was looking for the other day!) with beautiful rugs, pillowcases, and blankets. Joe would have really liked to bring something back, but with the addition of 2 Berber coats, our bags are already over capacity and we have yet to buy anything for any family/friends. Maybe next time ?
Due to the lack of showers, mirrors, and because we were still a bit chilly, everyone but Joe was still wearing headscarves when we arrived in Tailouine for the night. Apparently we were far enough out of the desert for our nomadic wrap to be out of style – local teenage girls were staring and giggling, and we heard a few people say “ohh, Sahara” – it was amusing. And also made us all feel a little awkward, but you’ve just gotta run with it! We joked that we should buy a donkey and a couple of sheep from the local market and walk them down the street for the full effect.
Awkwardness aside, there were also a handful of shop owners that invited our group to dinner (we declined, as we had lamb Tagine waiting for us at the Berber home we were staying at for the night.) Moroccans as a whole are so welcoming and friendly, especially outside of the big cities.
We all ended the night with warm (ish) showers, and Joe and I shared the Kinder Bueno we had purchased a few days prior. There’s hardly any sugar in the Moroccan diet, with plates of fruit being served for dessert almost every night – so a candy bar tasted especially good.