Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Few Things I Learned From My Sahara Trip

Apparently, one can learn a few new things after taking a Sahara trip, whether it be random good-to-knows or some new perspectives in life. I personally lean more towards the latter – more along the lines of “I’ve never been more thankful that I live in such a modern age where I don’t need to count on animals for transportation and where we have a functional plumbing system!” 
Here are some of the things that have come to mind in reflection of the trip:
  1. Riding camels for more than 10 minutes can really be a pain in the ass. Literally. As well as between your thighs and maybe even arms and backs. So you can imagine the pain I’m in after two camel rides – each being almost two hours long. I’ll give you a hint: It’s a lot.
  2. The men in charge of the camels have the strongest ankles ever – I really cannot fathom how they are able to walk barefooted on the pile of sand for two whole hours as they led the camels to our campsite. I tried walking in the sand for two minutes and I already felt like collapsing.
  3. Speaking of walking on sand, try climbing the sand dunes. No, really. The dunes in Erg Chebbi can reach up to 150 meters high, and when you try climbing it, you may feel like you’ve given all your effort in walking yet in reality have barely moved forward. It’s a great alternative to a gym, though.
  4. It’s true what they say about the moon and stars in the desert, they really are something else. And even though my night in the Sahara was mostly filled with cloudy skies, the first 30 minutes of the clear night sky have provided me with more stars to see than the city of Jakarta will ever give in a whole year.
  5. Once again I would like to mention how thankful I am that we live in an age where we have functional plumbing systems. You know, with toilets and showers and stuff. You cannot find that in the desert that’s for sure.
  6. Whilst I will always admire the desert men for their strong ankles, I cannot say the same for their photography skills. But oh well, if you are lucky enough, for every ten pictures they take you might find one that’s not blurry and has good composition.
  7. Weirdly enough, the night in the Sahara was no where as cold as I imagine it to be. In fact, it wasn’t cold at all – so in the end even though we were provided with tents, the majority of us chose to sleep outside, on top of classic Moroccan carpets and under the cloudy sky. 

The Sahara trip is really a once in a lifetime trip – meaning I did it once, and I probably will not do it again, purely because of the camel rides we had to take. But would I recommend the trip to my friends? Definitely. Because of the Sahara, you can really be more appreciative about the things you have taken for granted your whole life.

xo and smiles,

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