May 27 and 28 - Fossils, Camels and Sandstorms
By Jen Lewis
On May 27, we woke up, ate a yummy breakfast (Malawi!!), and headed out! Our first stop was a fossil tour. In the area we were around (Erfoud), there’s a TON of places like this. They showed us how they got the fossils out, and some of the awesome things that they make with them!
The next place we stopped was called a kaspah (and yes—that spelling is absolutely wrong). It’s a fortress from wayyyyyy back. This one was over 1000 years old, and it was crazy. Just thinking about standing somewhere that was built that long ago—it’s hard to imagine! Evan leaned on one of the pillars, and our tour guide FREAKED out because it would be so easy to bring the place down.
We then went to a little place where they serve tea to tours, so we had some and then listened as the owners talked about rugs and how they were the first kind of writing for the Berber people. It was actually quite fascinating. Some of the kids bought scarves—and thank goodness they did, because the next stop was the Sahara!
The desert… is crazy. It was a long drive out there, but the fantastic Ohio had a Kindle, so Hannah and I read the second Hunger Games book the whole way out there. So great! Once we got out there, we had tea (everywhere we go!), and started out at 6pm.
In my line of camels, we had Aaron, Kreg, Evan, Daniella, me and Dani. The other line consisted of Alli, Ohio, Hannah, Derek and Roger. This was so. Much. Fun!! These kids are amazing, the camels were hilarious, and the dunes were ridiculous! It was the most surreal feeling, sitting on a camel, completely surrounded by dunes. And we were all pretty pro at it. Aaron passed gum down the line, and we got it all the way back to Dani (…after dropping two pieces).
When we stopped, we walked up the biggest dune ever. Ever. Legitimately ever. (okay, legitimately wasn’t used correctly there. But it was freaking high). Somehow we got to the top (how DID that happen?), and waited for the sunset! THEN there was an intense sandstorm, and we abandoned the sunset for our camp in the valley. Aaron and Kreg stayed up till it was dark, while the rest of us drank tea and chatted, as the sun set behind us.
The sandstorm was a killer—three of our cameras (mine, Alli’s and Hannah’s) got a ton of sand stuck in them, and stopped working (hence the sudden lack of pictures after this point (keep reading… mine got fixed…).
We had dinner after Aaron and Kreg came back, and we were all super tired and hot and going a little crazy. Makes for a fun night. Our guides played some drums, we danced and looked at the stars and fell asleep with the sky as our ceiling. It was completely fabulous.
May 28 - More Camels, Aaron’s Birthday and Pool Party
I woke up before everyone else, got changed and started to watch the sun rise over the dunes. Everyone slowly got up, and we ate a tired breakfast of bread and jam, then headed out on the camels again.
It was 3980785689087658 more painful on Monday, and I was apparently more bruised than I thought I was. Ohmygoodness, it was tricky. A little maneuvering fixed it, though, and we got back out of the desert around 9am. Then the ride back into Erfoud (combined with a little Hunger Games), and back on the bus!
Oh, it was Aaron’s birthday! Pretty cool way to turn twenty, I’d say—although the majority of the day WAS spent on the bus. We headed over to Ouarzazat and spent the night there. We had a really weird and yummy dinner, and I was lucky enough to sit at the guys’ table and discuss cars and hunting and sports all through dinner. Super fun group, I love every one of them!
Apparently, Aaron’s birthday wish was that everyone would get in the pool still completely dressed. Although it happened forcefully for the most part, everyone did get in, except Derek! Then we headed to the bar area and watched ridiculous YouTube videos till super late (it's a Michigan thing…?).