Thursday, April 24, 2008

This morning I was reminded that I’m going to Marrakech on Sunday for the week. I wont be able to blog. I had completely forgotten about this trip. I might have been blocking it out, but it certainly explains all the terrible desert songs in my head- sorry in advance if these tubes haunt the remainder of your day. Originally the plan was to spend some time in Marrakech and then go to the beach but the plans got all fouled up and we are now crossing the Atlas Mountains in a 4x4 and somehow ending up in the Sahara Desert on camels and sleeping in tents.

Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakech express
Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakech express
It’s taking me to Marrakech
All aboard the train
All aboard the train

The Moroccan company that offers this trip has a long list of items we are to bring- from the unsettling (toilette paper) to the bizarre (jogging suit). Of course, the first order of business in planning a trip is to buy a dashing new hat to protect my porcelain skin from the ravages of the sun.

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name,
It felt good to get out of the rain
In the desert you can’t remember your name
‘cause there aint no one for to give you no pain

I have no preconceived notions about Marrakech or the route we are taking. We will be traveling over the Atlas Mountains, through the Valley of Dades, toward Tingher to Rossani, which is the start of the desert. From Rossani we will be traveling by camel through the desert and sleeping in Berber tents, presumably with their permission.

Midnight at the oasis
Sing your camel to bed
Shadows painting our faces
Traces romance in our heads

I read the description of our trek from the Moroccan company one more time- hoping it makes more sense than it did the previous reading. “In the SOUTH, it’s to learn, to meet itself one even and to keep for ever in the memory an idea of eternity.”
It doesn't. I suspect they used babel fish when preparing their english brochures.

Our first day is spent in Marrakech in an “air-conditioned room with a swimming pool*” The "*" could mean anything as there is no key to what we can expect to find. It could be * Shark infested or *It will be you job to oil the very large Turkish men on vacation.

Day 2: We cross the Atlas Mountains, according to the guide it will be “covered with snow by the collar of the TIZI NOT TICHKA, the highest collar of the realm offering magnificent resembling landscapes magnificent very colored patchworks.”

Day 3 is a little sketchy. We are driven 7 km into the desert and “acquainted with your dromedaries’ (I’ll save you the trouble; a dromedary is a camel.) We will “attend the sunset of the dunes and pursue your ballad until the environment of dunes.” We will continue to “cross the night in the oasis under the Berber tents in full desert.”

This goes on for a week. Does this sound to anyone else like we might be making a pornographic movie? Perhaps it is the nerves and excitement of a new journey but I can’t help but think I’m being lead into a poorly laid trap- a lamb to the slaughter.


mindy said...

have you read the sheltering sky by paul bowles?

Andrea said...

My tip for you:

Have a big meal before you go and then don't eat anything until you return.

Trust me on this one.

amy said...

I can't believe you missed Tea in the Sahara (The Police).

btw, I don't think they're joking about the TP.

doomed to be fabulous said...

Hey, I've done this trip before! It's fabulous. You won't be alone: many, many tour companies run similar routes out of Marrakech, for predominantly French and British tourists.

Tingher is just a small desert town, and I don't recall the Valley of Dades being that distinctive. But you'll just marvel at the vast expanses of desert, contrasted by the occasional burst of green from the oases. Plus playing in the sand dunes is fun. Have a great time!

Karyn said...

Guy. This is so freaking cool and exciting, I can't stand it. My toes are doing their happy dance and curling under so hard I'm getting toe cramps. Be safe, be well, seriously bring your own TP.

La Belette Rouge said...

If I can't go to France, Morocco is number 2 on my list of favorite places I have been to in my life. Loved it. Hope you have a great time.