This is our private tent, above. In the Sahara Desert. Middle of absolutely NOWHERE. Up ‘til only two or three years ago, this two-night experience on the Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) tour of Morocco was an adventure in reeeelly roughing it. As in, basic canvas tents, shared outhouse, sink stand propped up in the sand. That would have been OK, seriously. But we totally lucked out on timing – they upgraded massively!
The location OAT now books for these two nights is so posh, you cannot dream this up. A dozen permanent tents, secured and solid against the winds and chill. A dining room and bar beautifully decorated and carpeted. And heaters. Glorious, blessed heaters. Note, the OAT info DOES state that it can get dang cold in the Sahara. Our first night, the circuits to the heaters were turned off, it dropped to 27 degrees F, we learned. And I neglected to put the next day’s clothes inside our bedcovers – a trick to warm them up to not be painfully cold when dressing. “Layers” means in bed, too. Until Night 2, when the heaters stayed on during the night. Ahhh.
We climbed sand dunes and watched the sunset, then savored our (privately imported) wine at the campfire prior to the dinner feast. Next morning, I chose to stay under the three hefty blankets instead of getting up for the sunrise. Larry donned triple layers of clothes and braved it for his photography.
The second night, heaters working well, I decided if I woke up in the night, I would poke my head outside and stargaze for a minute. Miraculously, the temperature was much warmer than the night before, and the moon had disappeared, which gave me a killer sky of stars all to myself. And the big dipper – something rare to see in Los Angeles with all our city lights.
The entire three-week trip is too much to post about here. Every day is different, every city and village different. Every activity and experience different, so I chose JUST to post here about the Tent Camp. To summarize:
– Roomy, well secured private tents with door locks. So secure, most of us had to get someone to help us get OUT, locked ourselves in.
– Each tent has private bath with western toilets
– Most of us experienced hot water in our private shower. Listen, it’s adventure travel, manage your expectations…
– Gigantic, comfy beds, tons of heavy blankets and sleek, cozy sheets
– tables and chairs outside each tent for chilling
– the bonfire with red carpets and pillows
– large dining room, sturdy and exotic heavy furniture for enjoying the FABULOUS food, great Moroccan coffee
– the most killer orange juice and tangerines on the planet
In addition, we had a full day of local travel over sand dunes in 4-wheel drive vehicles to visit villages, schools, watering holes, a camel ride, and more food. This trip to Morocco – three weeks total by adding the pre- and post- trip extensions, is the kind of "adventure travel" for anyone who wants to experience something very much out of your comfort zone, but in style and safety. A never-ending supply of bottled water keeps us hydrated, although most of us ended up with a touch of Delhi Belly, and we all eventually caught the cold that circulated amongst our 15 fellow tourists. It was our sixth OAT tour (India, Iceland/Greenland, Machu Piccu/Galapagos, Tanzania/Rwanda and Botswana/Zambia/Zimbabwe/Namibia were the others.)
Note to solo travelers: OAT does not charge a "single supplement" on their tours. The result is a comfortable blend of couples and solos, everyone ends up hanging out with everyone else.