In Erg Chigaga, I shot several rolls of film of the changing light on the sands, and the natural cracking of mud as it dries. More pictures to follow once they’re developed.
After almost losing my backpack in a taxi that took off back to Zagora, and then having to aggressively re-negotiate the price of my desert excursion, I finally left roads behind, and set off in 4×4 towards the dunes of Erg Chigaga.
Today I took a series of shared taxis to get to Zagora. In one taxi, the driver was playing great Moroccan music. All over the radio were Rolling Stones tongue stickers. I could see how they were influenced by the music here. I then hitchhiked briefly in a truck. I put my bag in the back with a goat, who seemed a bit confused about the whole ordeal. From the window of the final taxi to Zagora, I took this picture of a woman collecting palm branches.
Today I visited the site of some rock carvings from 7000 years ago. I was driven down a long dirt track to the site by two Berber guides in an old truck. The carvings were all pretty simple except for a picture of an elephant drawn inside a rhinoceros. I tried to find out more. . .
Morning hike to see fossils. There were a lot.
As the sun started to set, I arrived in Tazarine. Somehow I managed to organize a connecting ride 12km south to a piste (dirt road) that leads to Camp Serdrar, a hotel that was built on the site of an old palm farm after it was destroyed by drought.
We waited in Tazarine while the back of the van slowly filled with people and cargo. Inside, passengers sat on loose wooden benches and spare tires. By the end there were about 6 men on each side.
Outside of town, two men got out and the driver switched the engine off. Three girls in headscarves climbed into the front cab together. I could see the men loading bundles of sticks onto the roof. By now the sun had gone down. I saw everyone in silhouette. We sat quietly, with just the sound of the bundles landing on the roof. The chamber of the van felt warm and safe, even though I was a stranger.
At the piste I was met by Ibrahim. We completed the last 6km of the journey to the camp on his motorcycle.
Set against a dry, dusty landscape, these patches of green indicate that somewhere beneath is a reservoir of water.