A crazy serendipitous 7 day drive to the Sahara Desert with 2 backpackers I had just met. We attended a local wedding, introduced avocados to cave nomads, held 1-day old baby goats, and witnessed the amazing landscape of Morocco.
I met Anna and Caitlyn at White & Blue Hostel in Essaouira, Morocco. They are two backpackers from NY and Boston. Anna had just finished a 15 day trek in the Himalayas and flew right over to Morocco. We all became quick friends, and they agreed to have me test my new Zhiyun Crane on them. We got up the next sunrise and created the “The Bird Chaser”
That same day they left, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave the amazing surf and fresh $3 seafood platters in Essaouira just yet.
We then made plans via texting to go on a roadtrip. The plan was to meet at Fes, go to Merzouga (the Sahara Desert), and end in Marrakech, with plenty of time in between. The total trip would be 7 days. Here is Caitlyn pondering what a good decision roadtripping was.
On our first day we booked it straight to the Sahara. We did stop to see this amazing sunset. The red & orange colors were breathtaking. On the left (not pictured) there were snow peaked mountains with purple to blue clouds.
We found Couchsurfing hosts in Merzouga! They took us for a camel ride and a night out in the desert. They played us music and danced. Then we sat in the quietness of the desert and gazed for hours at the millions of stars.
Caitlyn’s carrying a snowboard here. We were ecstatic about sand. I’m filming everything, believing we were going to make a parody of travel videos. We later figured out the moments were a bit too precious to be parodied.
Anna and I had just finished filming a skit here for a different video about eco-friendly Uber rides with the new Camel mode of transportation. I’m not sure that video will see the light of day, but it’s really all just for fun anyways.
We left the Sahara blasting Berber music in our cars and drove to the Mid-Atlas Mountains. We started hiking this trail a Senegalese man we met told us about. Just when we thought we were lost, this little mountain nomad approached us with his little arm held high holding a rock – defending his territory. After a lot of smiling and gesturing, he decided we were not mountain thieves, and pointed us where to go. Before we left, he picked us some interesting smelling plants and made us carry a garden of souvenirs.
A day later we found another family of nomads. They lived in a cave year-round through hot summers and freezing winters. We brought some avocados as offerings. This photo here is the EXACT moment the taste of avocados touched her taste buds for the first time.
Baby goats! This was the baby goat of ANOTHER nomad family. This family moved every couple days to chase the drying river between the canyons. They offered us the most delicious goat cheese couscous. This baby goat is ONE DAY old. Her umbilical cord was still intact. She pooped on my shirt and the little nomad girl couldn’t stop laughing.
The locals didn’t seem to care at all when we hopped the fence and climbed to the back of the Ouzoud Falls. The roar of the pouring water next to us the and the vertigo drop was breathtaking.
This was taken on our last day in a vast field of red poppies. I believe it was not too long afterwards that this lovely lady dropped our car keys in the squatty potty and somehow locked the car door in the process. After much confusion as to where the keys were, a kind gentlemen did some digging and found it.
This will be a nice transition to talking about the people we met. We had almost no planning, but the locals shaped our trip, from inviting us to a local wedding, their home to sleep, or to new adventures. We opened our hearts to their kindness and together we made one of the most spontaneously serendipitous trips.
Here is a cinematic video of our week.