June 1, 2011

A Camel Trek Along Morocco's Atlantic Coast

The honey colored beaches of Morocco’s Atlantic coast stretch out, scalloping around rock promontories, offering seemingly endless miles to nowhere.

The only way to see them is by foot, by boat, by donkey, or by camel. Camel is the transportation of choice in these parts and nothing sounded better to me than the contrast of a camel, ship of the desert on sand, flanked by an endless ocean.

We packed up our camels from “Le Kaouki,” a sweet whitewashed, blue-shuttered respite that overlooks the village of  Sidi Kaouki. From here, we could head out well-fed on kefta and homemade bread.  Well provisioned, we had collected our basics from the locals. Eggs. (On the back of a camel?) Vegetables. Bread. A tagine. A gas burner. Salt. Oil.  A few beers (Moroccan Especiale!)  The idea was to get fresh fish from fishermen along the way. A dinner of grilled Dorade was in our future, as well as a tagine for the catch of the day.

Our sleeping mats, strung over the camels for us to sit on, created much needed extra padding. Unless you are used to riding a camel, you can get sore really fast. Once you get into the rhythm, it’s a gentle massage for the lower part of the body that doesn’t move enough. Comparable to doing  cat-cow poses in yoga or...pole dancing. We had three endless beaches to cross, and even though we left late in the day, there was no worry or thought of time. No hurry to arrive at a destination. We weren’t quite sure where we were going, but we knew we had a tent, some food and dry land to sleep on.