Trekking through Erg Chebbi

Trekking through Erg Chebbi

Africa, Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Sunday, April 19, 2015

It’s hard to describe what it feels like to lay on a dune under a perfectly dark sky, gazing up at millions and millions of stars. It might sound a little dumb to say that this moment was the whole reason that I signed up for this three-day tour but… it kind of is. I arranged the trip so that the night we spent in Erg Chebbi the desert was on the night of a new moon, so the sky would be at it darkest point and perfect for viewing the stars.

After two full days of trekking through mountains, deserts, and kasbahs we finally made it to Merzouga, the small village next to the Erg Chebbi dunes. We made it just in time to ride our camels out into the desert and watch the sunset. After the one hour trek, and a shaky dismount, we all scrambled up the nearest dune and prepared for the light show. The dunes changed color from bright orange to a burnt red, set aflame by the sunset. We got back on our camels and made the final trek out to the campsite, right behind one of the larges dunes in the whole erg. The sun set as our guides prepped the tagine dinner so we decided to kill time by climbing the biggest dune in site.

20 intense minutes later we finally made it to the top and laid down on our backs to catch our breath and stargaze. The sky was just getting dark enough for us to make out the milky way and catch a shooting star zooming by every couple minutes. It was perfect. I felt so fulfilled and happy that I had flown and driven this far out to have this amazing experience. That night, I slept under the stars until the freezing wind forced me to take shelter back in the tent.

The following morning we caught a ride back on our camels as the sun rose. It was hard to believe that the sunrise would be 100 times more beautiful than the sunset, but it was. It was like the whole sky was a rainbow; it boasted every color at once.

I can’t compare this experience to anything I have ever done and I will never forget it. Sleeping under a perfectly clear sky full of stars has been always been a dream of mine, and as a city girl, it was never that easy attain.

This was truly the cherry on top of my whole Morocco trip but I can’t wait to come back and visit the north of the country. Morocco is a great place to visit for all kinds of travelers, whether you’re into delicious food, trekking through ancient villages, or 3 hour hikes to a waterfall. It’s for the extreme adventurer and the passive architecture enthusiast alike. If you’re planning a trip to Marrakech soon, or dreaming of a future trip, be sure to check out my tips for a successful visit to the city!

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