Experiences around the world, 1st part – Sahara
Decided to write the 5 biggest experiences I had in the previous period, but was fooled by my own brain. My memory was full of experiences which I had together with different people.
Had amazing adventures where I enjoyed every minute but mostly thanks to the people who were joining me, but this are not the experiences I want to write about. What if someone wants to make the same trips? I cannot tell him to take with him his friend, lover, etc. if he really wants to have fun.
Had to start from another direction, so let’s see my pictures from the previous months, probably like this I will remember more trips where I really enjoyed, even if I would be alone. It was like opening a tap, my mind was flooded by several memories and I just needed to pick a few and to write them. Never thought writing about my own great experiences can be so difficult…
As all of these journeys were really amazing I cannot make any ranking, none of the parts will have a number, better a title like:
Adventures in Sahara
The Sahara it’s the world biggest desert, covering actually the whole northern part of the African continent. When you hear about desert, most of the people used to think on the sand. There is sand too, but only one third of the surface of Sahara is covered by sand, the rest are mountains, different sized rocks, salt fields and even salt lakes. The desert is increasing, due to the wrong agricultural methods, even faster than would anyway increase. According to some specialists, 30-50km per year is the actual speed of grooving, mostly direction south.
Not that much time ago, all the good transported in this region were made by camels, but in the last 15-20 years trucks took over the work. I used as well camels on shorter trips, but drove 4×4 vehicles as on the way for several days.
I’m not a Toyota owner neither this commercial for the brand, but hard to believe where I drove that Land Cruisers. I was the most difficult terrain I ever drove, the cars had more than 600 thousand km and were still driving up and down on the rocks. Driving up on a hill which is so steep you cannot see the front of the car and once you are up the same steep you need to make it down, priceless experience. Every time was spending the night in the desert, slept in the shelters of locals, tuareg tents, berber cave houses, etc.
As I’m interested in the 2nd WW, there was a part of the road in Sahara through a salt field really interesting for me. Once or twice per year used to rain there, the water forms lakes and sometimes stay under the salty surface as really deep sludge. Once you are off the track you could get easily stuck in this, so the road was marked using some wood sticks. Who made that road signs? General Erwin Rommel’s soldiers during the 2nd WW. There are several other signs remembering the Germans once present there, like still used more than 70 years old fuel barrels of the German army. In several countries are still the find concrete bunkers and all over the Sahara covered more or less by the sand are to find destroyed tanks.
Is the 4x4x too modern for you and you prefer to discover the desert riding a camel in the most traditional way? Possible in all 12 countries which have territories in Sahara, yet what you see is pretty different in some of the countries. In Libya you don’t really find salt lakes, but you can see pink sand in Morocco and the highest dunes are in Mauritania.
For sure for some of you the name Tataouine means more than a word in some foreign language. In 1976, several parts of the movie Star Wars were shot in the Sahara, close to the place with the same name as the planet in the movie. The rooms used by the staff were transformed in a hotel where you can spend the night, together with another hotel from the city Matmata. Here in the hotel called Sidi Driss were shot the scenes when the young Luke is home with his family.
Why I really enjoy that much being in Sahara? I do because of all I wrote here, for all that beauty nature can have and for the best nights I had while watching the stars. Luckily there are no other source of lights only the real dark night and billions of stars. A fantastic experience, worth every cent you are thinking to spend on a journey in this amazing desert! Not only from the ground looking up on the sky, but from the space looking down is visible the so called “Eye of the bull”, a geological formation in Mauritania.
Interested in visiting tis desert? Great! Yet don’t forget to check the latest information, as some of the countries being part of Sahara might be not safe. No vaccines are compulsory, but having against Hepatitis A,B might be really great!
This was the first part of five. Will continue soon with other adventures on land and under the water. Which would you like to read? The one gets the more votes will come next.