Packing for the Desert

Thursday, October 01, 2015

I've had many daydreams over the past decade about visiting the Sahara, sleeping under the stars and riding a camel in the desert. It's hard to believe that in two weeks I'll be getting on a plane to make them all come true!

Of course I've been pondering what to pack since Andy booked the trip for me in August. I know what I'm wearing will be the furthest thing from my mind when I'm there but planning what to pack will always be part of the build up for me.

The weather be warm in October but will cool off a little in the evenings. It's best to dress modestly in Morocco so I'll keep arms and legs covered. Nothing makes me cringe more than a tourist dressed inappropriately for the country they're in.

I'll bid Andy farewell and take a taxi to the airport. I wish he was coming with me but it's not his cup of tea at all, and he'll still be really busy on the farm.

My days will look a little like this...

Travel day. I'm not worried about being hot when I arrive as we're not landing until the early hours of Friday morning, so I'll be fine in jeans. I don't normally travel in jeans but these are really stretchy and feel more like leggings.

Up bright an early I'll pop on the only thing I purchased especially for this trip - some ASOS khaki trousers. I've had some on my wish list for ages and now seemed like a good opportunity to treat myself. They're comfy and lightweight, perfect for hopping into a 4x4 and being driven into the desert.

When we set up camp for the night I'll have a sweatshirt to keep me warm as I sit back to watch the sunset and then admire the starry night sky. I just hope that after arriving in the early hours, and having an early start to the day, I can stay awake long enough to enjoy it!

I'll take a scarf or two with me - I always do, they come in so handy when traveling, not only do they keep you warm, they can be used as a cover up, a towel, a pillow, a blanket. They also act as a reminder of my travels when I return home. My red scarf is Prague, my pink one Budapest, my fringed patterned one Zanzibar... you get the picture.

This is the day I'll wake up in the Sahara. I'd love to watch the sunrise but I have to sleep at some point! Wouldn't it be magical though? I just Googled 'sunrise in Sahara' and it came up with 7.45am which is later than I thought... perhaps it will be possible? The same search threw up this YouTube video of a time lapse sunrise

It made my heart beat faster and filled my tummy with an excited flutter!

It goes without saying washing facilities will be limited. We've been advised to take wet wipes and I also have the Pump It Up Dry Shower Body Wash that I took to Latitude. These and a generous application of body spray will have to suffice.

The dry body wash was actually pretty good. I did feel fresher after using it, it's no shower substitute but it'll be good enough.

I know by this point I'll be thinking that it's all gone too quickly, and I'll be in need of a hot shower. We'll be saying goodbye to the Sahara and heading back to the hotel this afternoon. If there's time we might be able to explore Ouarzazate before heading off to bed. I already feel like I want more time there.

Last time I was in Morocco was over a decade ago for my friend's 30th birthday. We stayed in Marrakesh and I was captivated. I felt so relaxed there and it was this trip that sparked my desire to go into the desert.

Travel day. Up early again today, we need to be at the airport for 6:30am so it'll be a quick shower and then back into my jeans for the flight. We'll have a lengthy stop over in Fez airport before boarding our final flight home. I don't know if we'll be able to go into Fez at all but it would be nice, if only for a short while. If not I'll have plenty of time to do some reading.

When I say 'we' I'm referring to the other travelers in the group. There are eight of us, six of us are traveling solo. This will be my first time traveling alone (although I'm not alone alone). I'm nervous and excited. All I know about the others is that there are five women (I make six), and two men. The age range is pretty evenly spread between 20 and 60. I find a strange comfort at being in the middle of the age range.

In three weeks I'll be home and boring you all silly with endless picture of sand. Won't that be nice? ;)

(Day 33 of blogging everyday for 40 days)

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  1. Very exciting! I have been to Marrakech but not into the desert, its always been my plan to return to do a similar trip to yours. Who are you travelling with? Have an amazing time.

    1. I'm traveling with Explore. It's the shortest trip they do, I think, but there are so many others I'd like to do.

    2. I was looking at Shoestring - we've travelled with them before but I'll in out Explore too. Thanks.

    3. I've not heard of them, I'll give them a look :)

  2. I'm SO excited for you! YESSSSS, lots of photos, DO BORE me (like you would!), I'm ready for it with enthusiasm!!!!

    1. OK, you asked for it! I imagine my photos will have a very similar theme - sand.

  3. Your trip sounds fantastic, camping under a desert sky will be unforgettable. I look forward to pictures of sand.


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