Some long walks through old Berber villages, and a climb to the ridge to catch the sunset over the barren mountainsides don’t count as treks, yet were enough to keep us warm as it was absolutely freezing!
In the cities blue and white flashes everywhere while the old villages sport elegant geometric labyrinths of sandy bricks.
A kaleidoscope of colours are in the market place, although when to wear a psychedelic bra is anyone’s guess!?
We hiked dunes, rode camels, soaked in oasis hot springs, learnt about desert roses and salt lakes and ate couscous, more couscous and dates! Our driver had us chasing goats hoping to catch one for dinner as a special treat (it’s ok the goats were too fast for all of us!)
And we became jealous of the locals garb as it looked so warm, made from camels hair, wool or the newer version in polytech.
Even our drivers were well rugged up, as we were, when the sun went down on our campsite! (Fortunately an overnight stay only!)
Ancient granaries that still house the old grindstone and
then a leap into outer space as we stare at the Star War’s café! THE tourist attraction at Matmata, now turned into a hotel!
But it’s not the weird touristy things that took my fancy. More the hiking on top of the world, an endless vision of the grandeur of Nature. Nurtured and unfortunately abused by man but still on its feet, offering a spectacle of floating dunes, breathtaking canyons, enticing us to play in its crevices and pools so cleverly carved out by wind and water.
And the stories told around the campfire or on the road by our driver, sharing his knowledge and passion for his desert and disdain at its ruin by dumped rubbish. The blue we have come to adore is now the plastic bags that dot the landscape like a rash.