Monday, October 16, 2006

Camel Ass

What you don't know the meaning of "camel ass"? That's ok, cause I made it up. It's the pain that stays with you around the rump area when you've ridden a camel two days in a row. One hour to your camp in the middle of the dunes where you get to sleep under the stars (with the giant black beetles) but you don't get to brush your teeth, and one hour back to the van that you've been sitting in for 12 hours a day for 2 days in a row. It's a lingering pain...or it was for everyone but me...since I was the only one without a handle on my "saddle" (or blanket draped over camel hump), I was forced to balance and therefore, avoided camel ass.

This is me the day before I climed a 400 foot sand dune. When I say climbed, I'd like you to envision me going straight up a cliff face Spiderman replace the cliff face with a sand dune. I expect you to be impressed since I thought my lungs would collapse once i reached the top.

Look at that face...that face doesn't know what it has coming.

After the night in the dunes we shared a grand taxi (4 seater beat up mercedes that is supposed to seat 6...yeah right) with a British couple, Emily nd Tim for the 6 hour trip to Fez. Oy, was THAT an adventure. We got changed out of taxis three times, the second they shoved in another passenger despiret our broken-french protests (well, just mine since i'm the only one who spoke any french). It was there that Amy decided that Morocco was not all that she hoped it would be and decided to leave for home the next morning. I decided to keep traveling alone. This is the view from the auberge's roof top where I slept in a little open air room. The family was very sweet to me.

This picture is from day one in Marrakech. What you are meant to notice here is that there is a toddler holding on for dear life at the helm of the scooter. Apparantly this is the normal means of familial transport in Marrakech. At one point we saw a father, mother holding infant, and pre-teen daughter all perched precariously upon one similar scooter. It both amuses and shocks.

I stayed in Fez another night and then hopped a train and bus for another 12 hour day of travel across the country to the Atlantic coastal city Essouaria which I think I just spelled wrong. So far I'm loving it here. It's beautiful, relaxed, and I haven't yet been approached by a man thinking that the only possible reason I could be traveling alone is because I want a Moroccan husband. Yesterday brought many a "proposition" let me tell you. I also just ran into the two
German boys from my Sahara group coming into the internet cafe so I'm going to go have a drink with them. Mint tea of alcohol during Ramadan. Yes, there's been withdrawl.

I think I'm going to cut my trip a few days short as well. As much as I love it here...this country is not meant for American BLOND (it's like a come-hither sign) women to travel alone. You might think you detect a little bitterness about coming home early...well, you'd be right.
Anyway, more soon.

10 keep(s) me blogging:

Laura said...

See???!! I told Ty that is too possible for Beckett and I to putter around on my brand new Vespa when I get one. That photo is proof in the pudding! Do they eat pudding in Morocco?

d said...

i'm very impressed at your successful climb of the sand dune. when i was abu dhabi, i tried unsuccessfully to do the same thing (but i weigh a lot more than you so the 20 feet i actually made it was impressive - the sand just offered no support whatsoever. it was like one of those stair climbing exercise machine dealies).

so then i jumped in the land rover and told my driver to take me to the top of the hill. that was fun... until we hit the dune at too sharp an angle and stopped quicker than hitting a brick wall. our bumper fell off and the other guy in the truck with me got whiplash. (ok... that part was funny.) but i digress.

apterix55 said...

Remember what's important is the trip, not the destination. (Unless you're on a scooter; where it's about surviving the trip to make it alive to the destination.)

Somehow, none of this advice is very helpful, is it!?!

Anyway, as they say in Morocco: If today turns out to be a lousy day, you can always hope that tomorrow will be a "Bedouin". :)

alphawoman said...

Terrific pictures. I love the first one. I had no idea you were traveling alone. Ihave to suppose with a group...? takes some guts to travel alone. Looking forward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

ah, being ditched abroad...happened to me as well only not in london...i don't think the two compare. london is clearly more difficult to be an english speaking white girl.

anyway, it looks AMAZING and if i knew you better, i'd jump on a plane and ride out the last few days with ya. :)

if you don't mind my asking, how much did this trip cost? i'm interested for myself...and whatever other person i drag so i'm not alone.

:) congrats on surviving the unknown alone!!! it's a mean feat! like your sand dune!

sarah said...

Can't wait to hear all about it in person and see some more pictures. Have fun and be safe! (I know, I'm not your mom, but I am A mom)See you in 2 weeks!

The Future said...

Well, as they say, what you survive makes you stronger. I can't wait to see pictures of wherever it is you are now. Be sure to let me know if you got your hotel information and whether you need another night's (Tuesday) reservation. It sounds like you're going to be perfectly happy to stay where you are until Wednesday. Be sure to find some nice old lady to sit by on the train. They don't care what color your hair is.
Enjoy your last few days!

Orhan Kahn said...

You look like you're having an awesome time!

slaghammer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The first picture is awesome! I can't imagine travelling alone- do you end up talking to yourself more? You're a brave missy, and I hope you take lots more pictures!