We leave Zagora and head towards the desert. We have a journey of less than 300 km ahead of us and we know it will take us the whole day. It’s not just the distance, but also the views that make us stop around every bend to take in all that epic beauty for a brief moment.
What also forces us to stop is, of course, our overhanging asses.
There are also other reasons to stop. For example, occasional dances on deserted roads.
Empty roads do have their charm and photogenicity, but on the other hand, when you don’t see a single vehicle, person, town or village for hours, just nothing, believe me, it gets a little creepy. What if we run out of gas, what if the bike overheats, what if… whatever… you’re in the middle of nowhere with no trees around to hide from the sun.
Until now, I was quite annoyed that you are never alone in Morocco. For example, finding a place where a person urinates in nature is not easy, there are people everywhere. It was quite frustrating at times, wasn’t it. And suddenly the exact opposite, we are driving through an arid landscape and nowhere is there a living creature, no car, nothing, dead, silent, just an apocalyptic atmosphere.
Passage of Desert Storm
Finally, the silhouette of a small town can be seen in the distance. Seeing at least one person after hours of travel without a single living soul would add a little to the mental well-being.
Before we even got to town, I had to stop and give our significant others a rest…correction: halves. And especially when a tree finally appeared by the road, in the shade of which one can rest incomparably better.
After a short break, the local region wants to remind us and let us know where we are actually going. While we were mainly occupied with the idea of seeing some human beings again, the approaching Sahara desert came to greet us prematurely. The sand started to rise and the visibility slowly got worse and worse. Unsurprisingly, our experience with desert storms is so bad that we didn’t even realize what was going on. With worsening visibility, the only thing we could think of was to hit the road and try to escape it.
The visibility gradually became really poor, we had to go no more than 20 km/h, the wind was shooting grains of sand on the exposed parts of my hands and neck at such a speed that the stinging bite was hard to ignore and I wouldn’t want to watch the expressions on my face at that moment.
Fortunately, the closed helmet provided enough protection for the eyes and one could proceed cautiously and hope that the deserted roads would remain true to their emptiness and that we would not, for example, be run over by a speeding car. It was definitely clear to us that we were in a sandstorm. Maybe that’s why we haven’t seen a live animal for hours, everyone was well hidden at home from this relentless natural element. There was no point in stopping, we would stand in the middle of nowhere and just let the sand blow on us. We hoped that if we continued on our way, we would get out of the sandstorm. Which was succeeded after an infinitely long time. In retrospect, it is hard to say whether we drove through the storm for another hour or three hours, the only thing that is certain is that it seemed like an eternity and accompanied us with a gradual weakening until close to the city of Merzouga. As I drove into this final destination of ours, there was no sign of the storm.
We cannot judge how significant the storm was, as it was the first and last one we experienced in Morocco. However, the memory is not at all traumatic, on the contrary, surviving a desert storm? Checked off, done… what’s next please? Sleep in the desert? Hmm, here we go…