Bivouac in the Sahara Desert: Midnight at the Oasis
As I was part of a group, our evening was spent eating a traditional meal, washed down with a few glasses of wine or beer, and chatting.
Entertainment during the meal was provided by a sandstorm blowing in, with a cabaret of nomads hurriedly trying to mend the holes in the roof of our sleeping quarters, where sand was pouring in.
For an encore, traditional drumming and singing under the desert sky. (I'm afraid some of our party had already retired to their beds when this happened, so probably didn't get an early sleep)
After the music, it was quite peaceful, sitting with a beer, listening to the distant sounds of drumming, chatter and animals carrying across the desert sands.
Trying to sleep, I could hear packs of dogs howling, then getting nearer to our camp, plus intermittant whistling and rustling sounds - but that was probably just one of the snorers!
Apparently the ergs (sand dunes) are home to many animal species that are nocturnal, or only active in the cooler times of dawn and dusk.
According to LP these include fennec foxes, gennets, and reptiles including Berber skinks and sand vipers that prey on rodents like jerboas and sand rats!!!!! WHAATTTTTTT????????
Before You hit Your pillow, set Your alarm, or arrange to be woken to catch the sunrise - I found it to be the best part - peacefully sitting on a sand dune, as the light broke, and the warm rays of the morning sun eased through!
Dress Code: A fleece jacket, trousers, socks for the cool/cold nights . The beginning of September, we were ok with a fleece, perhaps we were lucky! It can get Very Cold!
Accessorise with a torch, ready for finding your way to your bed or to the loo.
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trying to find as many shooting stars as possible: Watching "Berber television" ...
This is one of my fondest memories in the desert. Sitting on a dune with big blankets on the shoulders and watching the star-studded sky (the "Berber television" as they like calling it) with nice Berbers who were telling us stories or charades. I saw a lot of shooting stars and made a lot of wishes. I can't tell you what it was but I'm sure that after reading my page, you'll be able to guess one of them ;-)
Dress Code: A "cheich" on your head and warm blankets on your shoulders !
Idir, Hussein and Mohammed: Singing all night long
Again, one of my fondest memories. Shame on us who sing false ! Idir, Hussein and Mohammed entertained us with Berber rythmic songs and played music with everything they could find : the table, the glasses, jerry cans. It was amazing.
"Zahara" preparing tea for the Berbers: One of my fondest memories
There we are in the "kitchen" !
I prepared tea for everybody. For some of the Berbers, it was not strong enough. They like it pretty strong indeed ! But according to Mohammed (on the picture), I'm very suitable for the desert ;-)) He called me "Zahara" which means "flower of the desert" and invited me to stay longer, to get married and have kids. He read in my hand that I would have three kids ... just like him ... hm hmmm :-))) That was very funny !
We spent the night drinking tea, telling charades, talking about our different ways of life ... It was very interesting, especially when they talked about women and marriage ;-)
Dress Code: A "cheich" on the head !
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