tuaregs 砂漠の人

s-camel-18

There were 14 of us on the bus from Marrakech to Zagora across the High Atlas mountain for a day trip to Sahara desert, experiencing the other side of Morocco. There were 7 college students from Indiana. They are attending a summer school in Spain studying Spanish (language). Also a Catalan couple from Barcelona, Iranian and Swidish couple who live in Spain, two Japanese girls from Italy, and myself. So the common language was English but also we tried in Italian, Spanish, and Japanese to communicate.

Leaving Marrakech around 7 am, first one hour was exiting from the city, uninteresting sight. Then the scenery completely changed into a 4000m or 12000 ft high mountain range.

As crossing the High Atlas mountain pass, there were so many small village on the cliff. Some are abandoned old village, some are still inhabited. Often I couldn’t tell it is an old ruin or inhabited village...

The bus made few stops including fortified village and kasbah at Alt Benhaddou and Dades Valley. Each stop includes Berber dressed in their traditional cloth, trying to sell souvenir, long line for toilet (some are old style Arabic squat style and you need to give some $ to get a toilet paper from attendant), another long line for people trying to buy a bottled water. I had 1 litter bottle every 3 hours to keep my body from not dehydrating in this hot and dry land.

12 hours on the bus, more oasis and ruin passed by the view, and we finally arrived the rendezvous point with our next part of adventure, a camel ride to the dune.

Here, we all got on this big animal, big animal would raise itself but more like trying to shake you off. I have never done a camel ride but this animal is big and tall. You are basically 8 feet off the ground, trying to hand onto a camel, trying to hold onto your bag, and trying to take a photo at same time.

Initially butt hurts but our body (and camel will force us to) find a right spot where it is less painful and being able to enjoy the view. After 45 minutes camel swinging us back and forth, the scene changed from waste land to more like dune.

We arrived our tent in one hour camel ride and were being greeted by nomadic Berber people, Tuaregs, or sand people. They gave us a Berber whisky (tea), followed by very simple but tasteful dinner, Chicken Tagine. After that, we all hang around the dune, sing, and watch stars.

It is amazing to sit on the dune. There is no sound at all expect occasional ring tone. Yes 21st century Tuaregs are equipped with Toyota or Mitsubishi 4x4 and Nokia cellphone.

Otherwise, no sound, no light, just a sand dune, moon, and us.

For more photo from the scene along the trip, please
click here.
Additional photo from camel ride
here.

マラケシからハイアトラス山脈を越えザゴラへ、サハラ砂漠へのバスツアー。反対側のモロッコを経験したくて自分も含め14人が参加。インディアナの大学生が7人、彼女らはスペインでスペイン語の夏期講習を受けているらしい。カタラン(スペインの一部)、バルセロナから来た夫婦、スペインに今住んでいるスエーデン人とイラン人のカップル、そしてイタリアに住んでいる日本人の女性2名(さこさん、と洋子さん)。いちよ共通語は英語、でもイタリア語(日本人の2人)、スペイン語(カタランのご夫婦とスエーデン・イランのご夫婦)、日本語(洋子さん、さこさん、と自分)と会話はごちゃ混ぜ。

マラケシを経ったのは朝7時、初めの1時間は街を脱出するのにかかり、つまらない風景、だけとそこから風景はいっきに変わり4000メートル級の山脈。

ハイアトラス山脈では崖っぷちに小さな集落がいっぱい。中には遺跡、放棄され朽ち果てた街、まだ人が住んでる町。ただ、どれが遺跡でどれに人が住んでるか見分けがつかない...

バスはいくつかの場所に立ち寄り、城壁に囲まれた街、Alt Benhaddouやダデスバレーへ。停まる度に原住民のかっこうをした人がおみやげ品を売りに来て、トイレの長い列(アラブのトイレは和式に似てる、しかもトイレットペーパーが無いことが度々、ティシューを売るおじさんがそこにいるので要チップ)、ペットボトルの水を買うまた長い列。この乾燥した暑い所、3時間に1リッターの割合で給水。

12
時間のバス、いくつものオアシスと遺跡を眺めた後、バスは次の冒険へのランデブーポイントへ。ラクダに乗って砂漠へ

ラクダは初めての経験だが、けっこう大きな生き物!こいつにまたがり、こいつが曲げていた足を伸ばすと前後に数回揺すぶられ、落とされるかと思う。立ち上がると、自分の視点は25メートル以上の高さで、この状態でバッグを持って、水を持って、写真を撮るのはけっこう大変。

初めはケツが痛いがそのうち自然な体勢になり、と言うかラクダに自然な所へもっていかれる?まあまあのんびりと。ラクダに前後に振られること45分、風景は荒れ果てた草原から砂漠へと変わって行く。

一時間のラクダの後、テントに到着、ここで原住民のツアレグス、ノーバディック バーバー、もしくは「砂の民」が歓迎してくれる。ここでバーバーウイスキー(お茶)をいただき簡素ではあるが、とっても美味しい鶏のタジンの夕食。食事の後は砂漠に寝そべり、歌い、踊り、星を眺める

砂漠、感激!砂漠ではまったく音がしない。時々携帯が鳴る以外... 21世紀の砂の民はトヨタや三菱の四駆とノキアの携帯で装備。

それ以外は全く音がしない、砂と、砂漠と、月と、人と...

道中の写真はここをクリック
ラクダの写真はここをクリック

お楽しみください