Sahara Desert - 2nd Campsite
No paved roads for miles and miles. The camp was by a
dry lake bed. We arrived just before
sunset, just enough
time for a shower before dinner. There was a very
interesting demonstration by the camp cook on making a
The next morning we had a pancake breakfast - Berber
style. After some time to get things straight in
were on a 1 hour hike to a
Berber family tent.
The matriarch was widowed (her husband died in a truck
accident moving the family tent) with 4 sons and 2
daughters. Two sets of twins died within 2 weeks of
birth. The oldest son is 21 years, married with 2
children. His youngest is 2 weeks old that was delivered
by the mother-in-law. The matriarch's 2 youngest children
attend school and stay with a step-mother in the local
town. One of the daughters was outside "baking"
bread. Of interest here is the construction of the beignet
stove. It is a hearth of tamped earth into which brush and small
fire logs are put in one side and a smoke-hole allows smoke out
the other end. It's all very rudimentary; a very ancient
way of cooking.
The hiking was now over. Driving (with
air-conditioning) was the way to go in the hot sun. We
spotted a mother and daughter at a
well doing laundry, and
stopped. The water wells are provided by the
government. The depth can be from 10 to 90 feet deep.
After about an hour or two of driving we again stopped at a
Berber tent to visit. The mother just made some fresh
bread which she offered to us along with mint tea. She had
4 young children with the oldest watching the youngest.
Nearby was a huge hill of rocks - and fossils galore. The
fossil rocks formed about 400 million years ago when the Sahara
was a vast ocean. Great free souvenirs!
It was a long drive back to camp for lunch.
Here is a picture of a mirage
in the Sahara. We had a
free afternoon since nobody but me wanted to go on a 3 hour hike
to the local mountains. The sun was hot but the shade was
bearable. Kirsten and I then started doing laundry -
washing clothes in a bucket then rinsing. Clothes dried in
about an hour. Others in our group joined in to get some
laundry done. At least it was a productive afternoon.
Six of the group went on a hike to the
dunes for the
sunset. These are my best pictures of the Sahara.
Back to camp for a shower, dinner (a goat), then some great
music and dancing by us and the camp staff. No pictures
since it was dark and I was having too much fun.
Breakfast was pancakes again with tea or coffee. With a
little jelly the pancakes were not too bad. There was some
free time so Kirsten and I decided to take a
walk to a nearby
dune to get a good view of the camp. When we returned to
camp we joined the group for a
one hour hike across the desert
almost to the nearest
hut. But the Land Rovers
picked us up to drive the short distance.
The Berber lady was widowed 2 years ago. She has 8
children with the oldest 20 years old. We had the usual
bread and tea before leaving.
As we approached a small village there was a
cemetery. The guide gave a short talk on the Muslim custom
when there is a death. The body is usually buried in 24
hours - no embalming allowed. There was quite a few
children that came to see us. They were fascinated with
seeing their pictures on the digital cameras. Stones were
placed upright at the head and foot of the body. No other
marker was present.
On the way to Alnif was a very interesting farm at the
The owner gave us a tour and explained the different
crops. He had a diesel motor that pimped water from a
shallow well to irrigate the fields. We did have a few
rest stops for potty breaks.
Driving through the
J'bel Sarhro Mountains ( 4500 to 5000
feet) we saw very
interesting green rocks and soil. Our resident geologist
explained that the greenish look was from magma that came from
the earth's crust under water and did not get oxidized. If
the magma gets oxidized the rocks and soil has the typical
reddish appearance. Another clue that this whole area was
under the sea many millions of years ago.
After 3 nights in the Sahara Desert, we finally had a hotel room in