The many stories of camels and nomads throughout the Sahara have always fascinated me and sparked my imagination. What mysteries, magic, and treasures lay in the sands, washed clean by time and constantly shifting to new forms and shapes. Here is where humans meet the vast desert, the powerful land that moves and shapes the very Earth. An unbeatable force that reminds us of our small humanity.
Staring out in awe at the eternity of dunes, I gaze at the endless journey ahead to reach what may lay beyond the sands. Yet what hides beneath the weary travelers feet? Treasure, gold, caravans of travelers who told stories of old? Stories of flying carpets and magic lamps, jewels and gems, an impossible journey these men must attempt.
Sahara, a place too vast to comprehend, moving, dancing with time and the wind. Each dune has a name, a story to tell, what wonders have they seen, what civilizations fell?
As I drove in the jeep, bumping along the dirt road, I heard the voices of the past, of legends unspoken. Voices of journeys beyond, of men and women singing an echoing song. To get lost in this desert, the immense, the profound, one fears for the worst and may never be found.
For its magic lays in its movements and ways, mirages of colors, a mystical desert haze. You only know from where you came, not where you may head, the road unwritten the sand now your bed. With you only what would fit on a tall camel’s back, many men one soul, their courage still intact. Behind them no footprints shall they leave, the desert washing them away, the sand ever-shifting.
What lays ahead is better than what is behind, a constant step forward to see what you can find. Now your voice just an echo, now your cry a hum, the wind and the sand let your voice carry on. Stories of the past blow in the air as I drive out of sight, my own journey in the desert wiped away in the night.
I wrote this reflection after going on an adventure in a 4 ×4 jeep out in the Sahara Desert in Southern Tunisia. While staying in Touzer, we did a day trip with a Berber guide who brought us through the sand dunes and the Star Wars set of Mos Espa in the Phantom Menace!
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