Sahara Night (pt1) – Treasures from the desert


We all know that the Sahara is the largest desert in the world, stretching through the territory of 11 countries of North Africa. it located in southwest Morocco, Sahara relatively far from the prosperous north.

“Before, no one paid attention to this barren land, just as many tourists to the new life change meat was a bit,” I told my driver Mohamed.

From Marrakech to Merzouga, Sahara city’s periphery, go south almost half of Morocco. Vehicles must pass Atlas, the legendary mountain range and is one of the rare African white snow, then travel across a barren plateau, sometimes dotted by a few small oases.

Landscapes vary from the fertile fields, snow-capped high mountain pass, and then down to the arid desert where there is not any little shade. The presence of humans so well gradually dwindled.

Along the way, we can look at Aït Benhaddou village, once a stopover for those traveling south come up north. Aït Benhaddou is situated in an oasis, next to a small stream. Surrounded by the barren hills denuded stretches until the foot of Mount Atlas.

This lovely village used to have a few hundred households, now only a dozen households. Half the villagers formerly Jewish, lived very peacefully with the Muslim neighbors. In the 60s of last century, they moved on Israeli settlements, leaving buildings deserted Jewish temple.

“No more travel, more water is lacking, so those who stay only selling handicrafts to tourists,” one local man told me while absorbed in painting under the hot sun.

Here the water and salt are precious. Someone told me that the ancient pilgrims a balanced salt change derive a net gold weight. Standing on the highest point overlooking the surrounding islands, to fully understand the harsh life here.

The entire village was Muslim. By war with nature too unequal, people should seek help from Allah reasonable?

Treasures from the desert

Referring to the Sahara, we often think of the endless sand dunes. But perhaps the name of the desert (sand) easily cause confusion. This area not only sand, but also dry barren strip of land extending to impatience, while passenger car going into the Sahara not see stops.

But beneath the barren that is treasure indeed: many precious ores and minerals with large oil reserves were discovered in the Sahara. Mines in Western Sahara phosphate reserves accounted for 10% of Moroccan exports.

Milton Friedman, an economist known American, once joked that if the government put in the middle of the Sahara Desert, in five years will be a shortage of sand desert. And the sand and laying out the money: annual Moroccan exports to nearly one million tonnes of sand offshore, mainly to the islands for the rich as Hoang Yen (Canary Island) in Spain.

So not exactly Sahara region “dog eat rocks, gravel chicken feed,” which is a small portion was more fertile forces scramble. Western Sahara is a former independent country. RLA Morocco invaded and annexed Western Sahara in 1975, the move makes the African Union (AU), still boycott the country.

Now, the movement for independence of Western Sahara is still ongoing. On the way to the desert, occasionally reappears ranked stone inscription on the hillsides in Arabic, wrote “The Sahara of us!”

Passenger car terminal at dusk, I was still able to ride a camel to go through the long sandy beach in the sunset, the pilgrim camps located deep within the Erg Chebbi side, one of the two biggest dunes of Morocco ( Arabic Erg under the sea sand).

It was a pleasant experience, but for the Vietnamese probably would be more comfortable riding buffalo animals back slightly oversized and skinny like a camel. And go on the sand is a real physical torture, because like Cao Ba Quat once lamented, “goes a step as a step backward.”

Sahara Nights

After a simple dinner nomadic, we campfire and cheering with drum beats and lyrics of the Berbers. Brutal fire, sound damping, we did not anyone ever tell anyone the silent to listen to the breath of nature.

Desert Nights strangely quiet. There is no phone reception, no internet, no noise of traffic and people as a natural return to what most pristine capital. Only sand dunes stretching ball under the dim light of the moon and stars.

As cold as the midnight sky, but I and some friends decided to hug blanket sleeping under “homeless.” We almost did not sleep all night, stared out the corner of the corner of sky Star strangely seductive.

Want to know more about life then go to the desert. Only new here feel all the values ​​of the blue and the water, the stuff of urban busy life makes man forget. I’m haunted by the bridge across the river without a drop of water.

People also will better understand the incredible power of time and change. More than ten thousand years ago, the world’s largest desert was once rainforest.

French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of the book “The Little Prince,” said he loves the desert. Because where he could sit on the dunes long with endless space, not seen and not heard anything. But from that silence, a strange thing will rise and throbbing in his heart. No one walked out of the Sahara which is still the same person.

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