The Edge of the Sahara

Over a year ago when we first saw Maggie (our truck) Andrew looked at me with a gleam in his eyes and said, “We could even take her to the Sahara”. Well, here we are just over a year of having our beloved truck on the road and we drive her into the Sahara. But hey, I am so excited that I’m getting ahead of myself.

We went into Guilmim a couple of days ago. Now, I must say at this point that I am getting increasingly frustrated with the guide books right now. We have a rough guide for Morocco. It is great for tourists that want to fly in or being rough guide they talk about taking a bus in and buying some nice trinkets. So, the rough tuide didnt like Guilmim. We found it just what we needed. Getting farther south there are less and less bigger towns to get practical things done. Guilmim was a great place to find a pharmacy to stock up on insulin for Abi, get a bike repaired, get some food both fresh and to fill up our pantry, find a working bank machine.

A word on bank machines. Most places, even petrol stations, only take cash and bank machines are not always on speaking terms with out of country banks.

I made a tea party for the girls on the hood of the truck. They forgot the cards they were playing with on the truck. After about a half an hour of rough roads Andrew noticed the cards on the hood of the truck. Don’t worry mom, he stopped the truck before sending Abi out to retrieve them.
TJ got a really good object lesson on tooth brushing. You know all the preaching you do on “your teeth will rot if you dont brush them”. It just doesnt have near the impact of a small child with rotten teeth standing next to your truck when you get out. I didnt have to say anything. TJ looked at me in terror and said, “That boy didnt brush his teen did he.”

Once again, while we were in Guilmim we were asked if we were selling our bikes. This time by Mohammed who was the third person to invite us to his cafe “Ali Baba”. Well, we had to go We had a great lunch of omelette and fruit and mint tea served by Mohammed’s son.
Afterwards Mohammed told us about his village and the nomadic people that come in once a year and were there RIGHT NOW! Mohammed offered to bring us so, seizing the moment, we pulled the truck around, picked up Mohammed and his friend and took them

through the gateway to the Sahara and into his village which was at the first oasis.
On our way to Mohammed’s house for a cuppa tea we noticed this man running down the road towards us waving his hands energeically. Wait, we know that man! It was Melchio – yeah, I know, how wierd is that. They have been trying to get in touch with us to find out where we were. Nothing was working and then we drive into the Sahara and there they are. So, we continue onto Mohammed’s place for a cuppa tea, some dates and bisquits and he takes us to meet another Mohammed in a camel hair tent.

This Mohammed number 1 serves us another cuppa tea and tells us a bit of his story, with Mohammed number 1 translating. Apparently Mohammed number 2 is 1 of 12 men that have come from a nomadic saharan people with 85 donkeys full of goods to trade for food.

It doesnt take Andrew long to go all Lawrence of Arabia on us. If you know him at all you know Lawrence of Arabia is Andrew’s favourite film of all time. Oh, is my man happy right now. Hanging with this amazing nomadic dude dressed like Lawrence having a cuppa tea.

After a while we walk back by Mohammed’s house where one of his men tells us that Hassan called and our friends are waiting for us. After inviting us to Friday couscous

one of his men takes us to Hassans where we are reunited with our friends from the hippy van and a few extra friends from the rainbow gathering.
So that is catching you up. It is now Friday morning. I am up early because I am so excited to about going for camel couscous at Mohammeds. I have heard about such meals. Friday is the day that the men go to the mosque and come back for couscous and we get to be part of it all. Yeah!

I sure do love travelling and making new friends and finding old ones.

Oh yeah, with TJs birthday looming she has chosen what she wants – a baby kitten with big slate eyes that the czechs found in town today. She and Hassan’s nieces have been with the kitten all day long.

Morocco mum's rants


We are just outside Guilmim in Morocco. We are borrowing a “dongle” for internet. We have not managed to buy our own. Always ” a day late or a dollar short” as my mom used to always say. They just seem to be waiting for some more every place we go to. Anyways.
Saw a beautiful bunch, herd, flock, whatever, of camels today along the road. We are at a hot spring tonight. The last few days we have been staying at a few campgrounds the last few nights. They are only between 4 and 11 euros a nite but I have been quite enjoying hanging around hippies and travellers. Andrew says I am becoming a snob.
I think part of my snobbery comes from a nice Moroccan man I was talking to last week.

He asked me if I was a tourist or a traveller.

” I dont know”

He looked at me intently and said, “Do you like the Moroccan people?”

“Oh yeah”

Do you like to go out alot and meet people and try new things? You do dont you. I think you are a traveller. Tourists just sit like this (he stretched out his arms, closed his eyes and put his head facing the sun like someone sun bathing) and they do nothing. He looked intently again and said, “Yes, you are a traveller”.

Dang, wow, Yeah. A traveller. Loving and experiencing new cultures and making friends. Problem is now I have snobbery issues with hanging with “White plastics”.

How lame am I. OK I need to try not to be a snob and I need to love all cultures – even the white plastic/tourist culture. They are normally very nice and dont deserve my snobbery. They travel with cute little travel sized dogs, take pictures of flowers, read lots of novels and have great tans. Deep breath. Tonight we hang with white plastics and some nice surfers in an old beige plastic with a bit of personality. Perhaps tomorrow we will venture out to the uncivilized hot springs, 4 km from Fask. Apparently we need to drive to Fask and find a guide as there are no roads going to the uncivilized hot springs.

TJs birthday is coming soon. She turns 8 on the 28th. We would like to take her on a camel ride for her birthday.