A Month in Morocco: And Then I Got High

I made it clear to Mohamed that I wanted to walk to the home-stay destination in the Black Desert and not ride a camel. Three days prior, the short ride from the chateau to the Sahara camp had been excruciating and I wasn’t about to do it again. Having ridden camels on two continents I can say with absolute certainty that my anatomy isn’t suited … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: And Then I Got High

A Month in Morocco: The Sound of Africa

My Sahara guide’s name was Mobarak, but he asked to be called “Black Stars.” He was a kind, hospitable man with a peaceful aura. On our first day at camp, Black Stars passed tous his grandmother’s wisdom, “If you need something, ask. If you are too shy to ask, that’s your problem.” After dinner, Black Stars recommend we leave camp and look at the desert … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: The Sound of Africa

A Month in Morocco: Needing People

I spent my first night in the desert with an international cross section of people: A Swiss couple in their late 70s who had just circumnavigated the globe in a sailboat, three Australian law students on holiday (two men, one woman), one Aussie dropout with baby dreads (man), Lithuanian newlyweds, two dating thirty-somethings from Chile and Mexico who are grad students in Holland, and a … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Needing People

A Month in Morocco: Waiting for the Bus

The bus station, like most round the world, was situated in a derelict part of town. I arrived before it opened and found the main entry blocked by multiple piles of yellow vomit, one being consumed by a feral tabby. When an employee arrived, she aptly hosed things down then waved me inside. When she confirmed that I was traveling to Marrakech (I wasn’t), we … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Waiting for the Bus

A Month in Morocco: Wasting Time

In Ouarzazate, I stayed at a dark hotel called Hotel Amlal. And though on most days I’d leave early and come back late, I’d see the same man in a djellaba sitting in a recliner while staring at a wall and smoking a cigarette. We’d exchange pleasantries; I’d say, “salam alaykum,” and he’d say, “alaykum salam,” but I don’t think he ever actually looked at … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Wasting Time

A Month in Morocco: Desert Elder

Ouarzazate (War-za-zat) has a notable history in the film industry. It is home to a major studio (Atlas Film), regularly used for major Hollywood productions. Films such as Babel, The Hills have Eyes, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Lawrence of Arabia, Indigenes and many others have been filmed here. With my guide Abdul, I walked along the “Moroccan Nile,” where less than a week earlier flash … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Desert Elder

A Month in Morocco: Atlas Dragons

I was ecstatic to leave Marrakech. I don’t doubt that there’s an amazing amount of history there and plenty to see if one seeks it out, but I was completely over it in less than two days. My list of grievances against the ancient city included an over-crowded hostel with a leechy pervert whose path I kept crossing, countless objectified monkeys on chains in the … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Atlas Dragons