The departure to the desert was early, 7am. I had two small backpacks which I loaded onto a 20-passenger van. We were the last to join so I picked one of the three spots still open, a solo seat in the middle of the bus. The seat was small and cramped and didn’t recline (actually it did, but I didn’t realize that until day two). Off we go!
The initial journey wasn’t too bad, but when we started to hit the mountains it was time for me to take my non-drowsy dramamine and put on my motion sickness wrist bands. We made our pit stop at this small cafe on the top of a mountain. I got out of the van and immediately put on as many layers as I could find in my bag. It was nice to get out and stretch. I bought some Doritos since we hadn’t had breakfast (practical). The car ride continued to get worse for me. I closed my eyes, tried to think happy thoughts and somehow managed not to hurl. Occasionally, I did open my eyes because I wanted to see the sights. First it was forests which were very lush, then it became more rocky with plants growing on it. We would pass by cities amongst the nature and the houses, made of the earth, would blend in. It was exactly what I had expected the outside desert to look like and I was very pleased.
At our lunch stop, we also toured our first Berber village (which has also been used in many movies, including GoT). It was SO cool! We bought some head wraps to protect from heat and sand, and were shown how to put them on. The inside of these homes were cool, but outside the sun was blazing. We learned a little about how they lived and then walked around and took pictures. Another 3 hours and we finally made it to our first night’s hotel. The hotel was in a valley. Towering orange rocks all around and a river below with lush vegetation. The hotel was the bare minimum, but at this point all I needed was a bed to lie in that didn’t move. I was the only one who chose to shower that night, which turned out to be the right decision since the hot water and electricity went out in the early morning.