Another treat of the camel-riding tour was the chance to sleep in the desert overnight. This was something I never thought I would get to do in my entire life. I dreamed of doing it but actually doing was just exciting.
After our 45-minute camel ride, we went down to an area with several pitched tents. The Berber tents were not your typical camping tent which just fits two to six people. It can probably fit around 20 people comfortably. They provided us with thin foam mats, thick woolly blankets and pillows so you can consider it comfortable camping. There were other smaller black tents that can fit up to six people but most of us chose to stay in the bigger tent.
The inside was beautiful as it was lined with a green and red square pattern with a diamond design in the middle -- typical of Berber culture. The colors actually made it look a bit like Christmas tent.
There were two tables in the tent where we were to have our dinner. We were served tajine au mouton and bread partnered with Moroccan mint tea. Instead of individual tajine plates, our food was served in one big tajine which can serve ten people. It actually made it more fun for our group of eight. We just speared the bits we like with our forks. The mint tea was sweeter than the usual but still tasted good.
The Berber guide that served our food was very friendly and accommodating. He spoke English well enough so we were able to communicate some jokes with him. He actually started the jokes with us and offered more food if we liked more. Except there was just too much already.
After dinner a few of us decided to take a walk in the desert. The sky was peppered with stars. The entire dome was filled with glittering light, Orion aiming his bow at the Great Bear. Occasionally we would catch a falling star.
The nights were cold during November. The jacket I wore was not enough so I had to lug around the blanket provided. Dunes scattered all over, like giant sandy snakes sleeping. The sand was cool and the air was chilly but I can not helped but be captivated by the beauty around me.
After a while, we heard the sound of drums from a distance. We noticed it was coming from one of the tents. We decided to follow it. Inside we saw our Berber friends playing tunes on gallon drums. The music was upbeat and enjoyable. Some of the guests were dancing to the beat. It seemed that they could play all night until some of the guests decided to sleep already.
One of the downside sleeping in the desert was... no comfort rooms. We had to answer the 'call of nature' in between the dunes. Some of my friends had to walk a long way just to be sure that no people would come while they do their thing.
It was also a good thing that we brought our own water because there was too little available. We used our mineral water to brush our teeth and wash our faces.
I could hardly keep track of time in the desert. We just slept after the merrymaking.
The next morning I woke up earlier than the rest. I saw a glint of light at the entrance of the tent. I decided to go out and check out the sun rise. I made it in time. There was light but the sun has not yet risen.
The desert was beautiful in the early morning. The sand was tinged with pink and purple. The sky had only wisps of clouds and it had the blue of the morning. As the sun rose, the pink and purple tinge got stronger then eventually faded. It was simply beautiful.
We had a great breakfast to go with the morning. We had bread and pancakes together with syrup and camel butter. Of course, there was the staple of mint tea. It was a perfect moment... having breakfast as the sun warmed the morning.
This was definitely the highlight of my trip. One that deserves to be shared and told.