We stayed two nights at Meski and were very excited when an impressive expedition truck drove onto the site. Tony couldn’t wait for the travellers to settle so he could stroll over and find out about their vehicle. It turned out that they were Nancy and Hans who were experienced long distance travellers and were leading a group of Dutch camper vans on a 75 day tour of Morocco. Tony had already been in contact with Nancy via the internet because we planned to join their Silk Road Tour in 2018 so it was a happy coincidence that we were able to put faces to names and to have the opportunity of having a good look over their truck.
The following morning we made the short journey south through Erfoud and on to Erg Chebbi at the edge of the Sahara where we stayed in the car park of the Auberge De Sud. This was normally a quiet billet but on this occasion they were holding an Off Road 4×4 Rally. The dusty car park was very noisy and the air was laced with petrol fumes- Tony loved it! We managed to spend a few quiet hours sitting round the pool and, later that evening, we enjoyed dinner at the poolside. We paid just over £50 for two nights’ stay including dinner and breakfast.
The Sahara was not all sand, most of the desert was flat stony ground. The dunes of Erg Chebbi spanned an area of 50k and were 150m high in places. The colour of the sand was vivid in the sunshine but when the sun went down the dunes took on dark, eerie shapes like huge sleeping beasts. At night the skies were inky black and the stars looked so bright that they appeared to hang overhead just out of reach.
Of course, there was plenty of noise around – sparrows cheeping, pigeons cooing, camels harrumphing and added to this were the noise of people having fun, dune buggies roaring and drums beating out their musical rhythm to entertain the guests. But the dunes were so peaceful, sitting in perfect silence unaffected by the human activity going on around them. We loved the Sahara Desert and we felt it a privilege to be able to visit it.