- Posted February 28, 2012 by
Courtenay, British Columbia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Morocco-Dancing Under the Stars in the Sahara
My partner and I got off the bus just before midnight. We had been travelling for almost half the day from our starting point in Marrakesh, Morocco. After a white knuckle ride over the Atlas Mountains, we finally arrived in M'Hamid, a small village at the end of the road near the Algerian border. The only problem was that the bus driver had overshot our destination which was now about a 20 minute drive back up the road.
Some quick thinking was in order. We departed the bus, pulled out our flashlights, and started walking along the road into the darkness. If we weren't in the middle of nowhere, we were awfully close. After walking for a brief period, we came upon the lit doorway of a company that provided guided camel treks into the Sahara Desert. We knocked on the door and, much to our relief, the door was answered by a gentleman who invited us in and offered some mint tea. We explained our predicament and the fellow phoned the riad where we had planned to stay and arrangements were made for a pick-up. I thanked the man profusely.
However, that was not the end of the story.Upon our arrival at the riad, we were overwhelmed by the sound of singing and drumming. Unknown to us beforehand, the riad was hosting a music/dance festival that involved the unlikely combination of Berber singers and percussionists plus a visiting group of belly dancers from Newcastle, England. All parties generously encouraged us to participate in the festivities so we soon found ourselves arm in arm with British belly dancers and local Moroccans as we danced to the rhythm of traditional Berber music under a starlit Sahara sky.