Purple Travel

[March 26 2015]

One week of desert with nomads in the Sahara Desert

The nomads told me, if you ever going to visit the desert, you will never return as the same person. Somehow, they are absolutely right. There is this indescribable magic about this place. It‘s full of blessings and limitlessness, the sky is like an ocean and the crystal silence is like a great gospel.

After driving eight hours from Marrakesh to get here, I felt dizzy. Nevertheless, it only took me a few more minutes and a few more steps through the dark dunes, to feel the magic of that place.

There she was… the beautiful Sahara, straight in front of me. The immensity of this wide and open space was completely overwhelming.

My escorts were one local Moroccan, two nomads and three dromedaries which carried all the heavy loads. The dromedaries have an unrivaled capacity to endure long periods without water, up to five days, I was told, which makes for pretty uncomplicated companions though very stinky.

Every day we walked for around 7 hours. My state of mind needed around a day to really accept that fact. If you are once able to stop thinking, walking feels like a meditative act. And that’s the hardest part – to really to stop thinking about anything. If you manage it, you find yourself in an inner space – only you, that place, and your feet on the ground.

The landscape in the Sahara is ever changing. From huge dunes and completely flat dried ground to green palm oasis and even water which makes the Draa river – Morocco’s longest river.

As I was sitting on one of the sand dunes, overlooking the immenseness of this wide and open space, I was completely overwhelmed.

Beauty in its purest form as I never saw it before. I felt tiny, like a grain of sand. The nights are freezing cold. As soon as the sun disappears behind the dunes, the temperatures drop drastically. It seems the nomads don‘t even really care about it. The dunes are their blanket and the the moon their flashlight.

“You can‘t find more holiness of silence than you do in the Sahara“, Sai, on of the nomads, was telling me. “It is blending into your soul and your mind.“

Text and photo Stefanie Moshammer

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