Monday, March 20, 2017

Merzouga Desert

From Tinghir we embarked on our final leg into the desert to Merzouga on a route only serviced by Supratour Bus, run by Moroccan Railways with the same not-so-punctual schedule. Our bus was one and half hours behind! We'll stick with CTM.

Other people come to Merzouga for camel rides, desert camping, and jeep tours; plus motorcycle, ATV and 4WD Mad Max madness. Our sole ambition was to climb the 100 meter high dune right outside town. Do I need to mention that it is the site of various movies?

Climbing the Grande Dune turned out to be much harder than it looked. It's a good thing it was not higher. I might have given up without reaching the top. At the same time, we had to struggle with the loud "humming" of motorcycles, ATVs, and 4x4s, more mentally than physically. What's the point of burning fossil fuel and generating pollution to disturb the peace of the desert?! By comparison, the camel tours seem harmless. If it were not for the tourist trade, what would be the fate of the domestic camel?!


The view from the bus window on our way to Merzouga. Reminds one of rural China.
Merzouga, Moroccp

Our room in Merzouga was on the rooftop of an old inn overlooking a "working" courtyard. It seemed as if we were "sleeping in the desert"
Chez Julia - Merzouga, Morocco

Breakfast.
Merzouga, Moroccp

Camels awaiting tourists.
Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

We were surprised to see beetle tracks all over the dunes.
Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

And it's just another kilometer to the top of the Grande Dune across the orange sand.
Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

Then almost straight up to the top ridge. Our GPS reported a 30% grade for the final 500 meters.
Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

The top! Woohoo! Behind me is Algeria.
Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Moroccp

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

4WDrivers shatter the peace and pollute the air.
Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

Coming down is easier; like floating.
Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

We can't leave Merzouga without walking back out to the dunes to catch the sunset and have some fun with the pano function on SL's phone.
Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Morocco

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Moroccp

Merzouga, Moroccp

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Moroccp

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Moroccp

Erg Chebbi - Merzouga, Moroccp







3 comments:

Kathy said...

Yes, trekkingup sand dunes is seriously hard work! Congratulations.

DayleInNC said...

Wow, that looks amazing to be hiking up the dunes!

john said...

@kathy and @ Dayle - Yes a bit harder than Jockey's Ridge. ;-)