On Saturday, Feb 20th, I dropped Abel off at his friend Mathis’ house (pron like French painter—Matisse).  It was the start of their two-week Winter Break, and Mathis’ family had invited Abel to go on a trip to the desert with them. They were going to ride camels, camp with nomads, and have an opportunity to buy souvenirs. Here is his account of the trip:

Sunday: we went traveling through the mountains. There was snow! We stopped by the side of the road and played in it, even though I didn’t have snow gear. No one really had snow gear. I was wearing long sleeves though, so I didn’t even put my jacket on.

We had a snowball fight! It was fun, like all snowball fights.

We continued on and we reached the hotel where we stayed that first night. I forget what it was like. We ate supper and then left next morning after breakfast.

Monday: we traveled some more, through more mountains, except this time there was no snow. We went to the studios at Ouerzazate…well, one of them.

We saw a Roman boat being made for the second movie of Ben Hur, and we went on the boat and pretended to row. Then we went on deck and I pretended we were getting boarded.

We saw the ark from Indiana Jones, I think.

At one point, at the very end right before we got on the boat, we saw a mummy (a fake person wrapped up in a coffin) and we also saw how they how made dead people. It was weird.

We also saw Egyptian stuff, and we could see the castle from Cleopatra (the Asterix and Obelix movie) but we couldn’t get to it because there was so much mud, from all the rain we’ve been having here in Morocco.

Then we traveled through more mountains. Mountains, mountains, mountains. We got to this one place where we spent the night. There were a ton of little kittens that were really cute but they were scared of us.

Tuesday: in the morning we got to this one place, left our cars and unloaded our stuff and put them in 4x4s, and drove off through the desert. At lunchtime after we had a tagine (with a ton of vegetables which I was fine with), Mathis’ sister’s friend brought binoculars and she let me use them to see when the camels would come. They came, we got on them, and traveled through the desert.

My butt hurt after a while. After a time, your butt just starts to HURT. Sometimes it kind of goes up and down and moves a lot, shakes, kind of…it depends a bit on your camel.

We traveled through dunes, then rocks, then we got to some giant sand dunes where we camped out for the night. Tents were already set up there. They brought two sleds, and we went down the dunes on them. I stood up on them, like I was surfing the dunes!

At dinner, there were other people there and I met some Americans. (Finally, someone to speak English with! I didn’t talk to them much though) One was Italian or Irish or something but still spoke English, and there were 2 men, one from the place where the Pittsburgh Pirates are from…Pennsylvania I guess. We had tagine for dinner. After dinner, the nomads did some nomad music for us.

Wednesday: In the morning we got back on the camels. At first, my butt didn’t hurt, but it only took about 15 minutes for it to start hurting again! We went over more rocky dunes, and I got off the camel for a little bit to walk with the parents. Mathis got off also, because really we couldn’t stand it—our butts were hurting!

The saddle was this round thing they put around the hump and they put blankets on the hump. At the front of the saddle it had a metal bar so you could hold on. You had to hold on cuz it was bumpy. It was fun when they stood up and got down. It was like WHOA!

So then we stopped at this well to get some water for the camels. Then we went off again and stopped at the main dune in the night. It was this giant dune, and I had to drag the snowboard all the way up it! Believe me, dragging it up that far plus that high is not fun. It is tiring! I wanted to run back down to the camp, get some water, and go back up. But I didn’t.

At the top, I was so tired I let Mathis’ sister’s friend use the snowboard. They all go down sitting. I pretended to swim after her, but you get going fast cuz it’s soo steep! I stopped about 3/4s down and climbed back up again. By the time we were all back up again, no one wanted to play anymore because we were too tired, so I rode the snowboard back down again. It was really steep; it was a GIANT dune.

The parents had already left with the camels, so we caught up with them quick cuz we were in a 4×4. We passed them! We made it back to camp, and there were some souvenirs to buy and I bought stuff for everyone in my family, plus a knife for me.

We got back in our normal cars and were off.

Friday: Two days later, in the night, we got back to Rabat!

I know it’s corny to end this way, but this is…