Atlas Mountains & the Sahara Desert, Morocco

Two days spent in the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert was certainly an experience and it's an experience I'm glad I didn't miss!

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We knew before going on our trip that we wanted to go to the desert for the night, especially as it was something which many people had told me that I couldn't miss. When we had arrived at our hotel, the kind manager was able to organise the trip for us and gave us the option to go with a private driver or with a group trip. We went for a private driver as it worked out to be around 20 euro difference each and it meant we could pick & choose what we saw on the drive there, as well as being able to stop whenever we wanted to take a picture, plus there was no one else to judge us sleeping and eating all the snacks. I'm not going to lie, the 8-hour drive around the smallest winding road was horrible and it was possibly the worst car sickness I've ever had (the downside of living in London and never going on long drives anymore). I didn't think it could have got worse, but it did when altitude sickness hit me as we were so high up in the mountains. The thing which made me feel a whole lot better (aside from the odd fizzy drink to settle my stomach) was the views. I've never been anywhere like that before, it was truly breathtaking. 

That beautiful dusty town above there? That's where they filmed Gladiator! 

Once the drive came to the end, we were in the middle of the Sahara Desert and our camel leader was waiting with our camels to go to the camp. Now, riding a camel was certainly an experience. Be prepared for the most uncomfortable ride of your life, it makes your lady parts ache a little after 10 mins on the came. But after a while, I came to love my camel as it kept tripping over stones and looked like it needed to brush its hair - just like me! As we were riding the camels, the sun was setting behind us (photos are above) which only just prepared us for the sunrise we were going to see in the morning. That night we were cooked delicious traditional Moroccan food in the camp, before going to sleep in a tent where a beetle ran over my stomach in the night and we heard wolves outside, so it's no surprise I didn't get much sleep that night. 

The next morning was the spectacular moment, as we walked to the top of the sand dune to watch the sunrise at 6am. The photos below don't capture the beautiful sunrise we saw and I only took a few shots due to wanting to embrace it without looking through a viewfinder too much. Afterwards, it was time for breakfast, another camel ride back to the car and the car journey back to Marrakech, which turned out to be half as bad as the first journey.