Not all deserts are the same. Each of the deserts I visited had some uniqueness, even though sand dominated them all, creating infinite ripples in the earth’s strata, and life could hardly be seen trying to breathe under the suffocating desert sun. Others..
Desert of Rajasthan, India
In the northwestern part of India, the Rajasthan desert stretches up to the border with Pakistan. During my first trip to India I traveled to Bikaner I traveled for two days with some fellow travelers I met along the way.
We agreed on camels, guide, cook, tents and excursion in Bikaner city itself which cost 50 Euros per head. The food was elegant and though The desert let me down a bit.
It was my first time in a desert and I was expecting those huge dunes that appear in the reports. The Rajasthan desert, at least the area visited around Bikaner, does not offer large hills. Vegetation is relatively abundant Considering we are in a desert.
We pass a few villages with mud houses and wells with a few trickles of water running underground. I marveled at the abundance of melons growing in the same desert under the unrelenting sun, and the camels constantly swerved off the trail to pluck them.
At first we slept in what appeared to be the interior of the desert. However, at midnight we could see the lights of some distant towns that obstructed our view with the stars; One of the greatest joys one can experience is in the desert.
Dous Desert, Tunisia
I arrived in low season at the gates of the Tunisian desert of Douz. I didn’t find any agencies open, but I was dying to visit the desert again. This time the Sahara. Sipping tea on the terrace, I met a local who spoke neither French nor English. We understood each other with signs, maps and prices for a night trip through the desert the next day.
We set out with a couple of camels and provisions sufficient for dinner and breakfast. Douz is literally the door to the desert. A warm welcome preceded the desert nomads who finally arrived at the oasis. Nowadays, it is a place where parties, camel sales, sports competitions and other kinds of interesting activities take place.
During the first hours the sand mixes with the plants trying to survive in this harsh ecosystem. As the hours ticked by, we reached uninhabited areas full of sand. however, I didn’t find those big dunes I wanted to find in Tunisia either.
Nasser, my companion and guide in the desert, cooked amazing couscous with embers and bread covered in the same desert sand. Watching him is a unique experience.
We slept in a bivouac with a sack and a couple of blankets and watched the amazing stars that could be seen.
In the morning we return to Douce. I longed to spend another night deep in the desert. They said that after four days’ journey they would reach the great hills of Algeria. A pending destination on my next travels.
Erg Sekaka Desert, Morocco
I went to Morocco, this time with some friends From the town of Hamid we decided to sink our teeth into the great Sahara. In the same town, we agreed on a two-night trip by 4×4 and camels to the Erk Segaka dunes.
This was my third attempt at being able to think of big dreamed hills. This time, The third one did not disappoint me Like the previous two.
On the back of a 4×4 we quickly entered the interior of the desert. We cross a salt sea, some people are lost among the lifeless, and we come to camp Hymas is well prepared. There is always a boy in them who takes care of the place, dedicated to cooking for the visitors, so that they don’t steal. I imagine the commission goes to all the agencies they go to there.
The camp was well protected in a kind of crater, by huge dunes of golden sand. Climbing, jumping and going down around them is a joy. At sunset A Sandstorm And we could observe that the dunes lost height almost imperceptibly to form new dunes around them. That same sandstorm was the death letter of the camera I carried with me, and its last legacy was these images of the Erg Segaka desert.
Already sheltered from the wind, we had a wonderful meal at Haima’s and played a night game of football under one of the most truly starry skies I have ever seen.
The next day we traveled on camels and arrived at the new camp. Again, the dunes surrounded us, possibly the best desert I have ever visited. Sometimes you don’t have to go far.
The desert of Peru
In Peru one might think of the desert of the Peruvian coast when traveling in a coach along the coastal highway. Peripherals blend into the desert sands, sometimes giving it a desolate image.
However, I really appreciated the desert in the area of Paracas National Park.
The desert here forms more or less perennial hills. Sea salt hardens the sand, which creates real waves on the ground. The national park inside offers surprises like the strange figure of the candelabra and the charming fishing villages where life stops.
David, for his part, enjoyed sandboarding at Huacachina Dunes, a short distance south near the town of Iga.
Lombool Desert, Senegal
Senegal’s vast Atlantic coast stretches from Dakar and Saint-Louis and the Sahel region includes the dunes of the Lampoul desert. At the foot of the road we travel by 4×4 and in half an hour we arrive at the Hymas area with all the amenities, including a simple private bathroom behind the tents with its sink and laundry room.
The dunes of the Lombool desert are sometimes more than 30 meters high After their long journey they soften their profile in front of the Atlantic Ocean.
We stayed overnight in Lombool and took a camel ride through the area. At night we enjoyed djembe and a starry night like few.
I would love to visit the great deserts like Gobi in Mongolia or the Valley of the Moon in the Atacama Desert where Sergei spent one of his unforgettable nights. And, of course, go to Libya, Mauritania or Algeria, where the highest dunes of the Sahara rise, reaching a height of 460 meters. Although the record The highest hill in the world It is hosted by Bolson de Fiambala in northwestern Argentina with a 1,230-meter-high wilderness.
for now, I love Morocco among the deserts visited; For its starry nights, its substantial dunes and the golden color of its sand.
Some factors to consider when you are considering a desert trip are:
1. It is important to spend more than one night among the hills; The further we go in this way, the more inward we get, the more isolated we get. Vegetation will disappear, and the lights of distant cities will not interfere with your starry nights.
2. First tour should be done in 4×4 Not by camel, this way you get more, even if the price is a little higher.
3. Since this is an activity that is not recommended to be done independently, I recommend that you watch Local economyAmong those companies that care about the environment.
4. You have to negotiate the price. The main points to take into account while preparing a budget are the food, the himas or tents you will sleep in and the transport used.
5. Consider that the speed of a camel is less than that of a man walking on hills. A day on a camel won’t get you very far, and after a couple of hours everything starts to hurt.
6. They usually include water bottles; Ask how much they plan to add to the agreed price so you don’t fall short.
7. As a last tip, enjoy running freely in the hills and their starry nights!