Right now, perhaps you are imagining me in loose desert garb astride a handsome camel under the blazing Saharan sun. Well, now you have pictured exactly how my trip wasn’t.
The Sahara trip officially started when eight of us girls piled into a tourist mini-bus. “Oh no! People will think we’re tourists!” It took a few kilometers of riding the tourist bus through my own city to realize that I was a tourist. I had just traded in my student identity.
The changing landscape sang the mighty power of God as we bumped along in our bus along paved highways and skinny mountain paths.
There were tree trunks covered in brilliant green moss, flat orange plateaus with snow-covered mountains beyond, and startling blue lakes.
We spent the night in a hotel on the edge of the desert. The next morning, a driver took us to the edge of the dunes. “Are these even real?” we wondered. The dunes looked exactly like the myriad pictures one might find anywhere. It was almost anti-climatic to see exactly what I had expected.
In the early evening, we started across the dunes on camels. The first 30 minutes may have been more enjoyable if a paparazzi hadn’t followed us to snap pictures of our camel train.
When we arrived at our desert camp, we ate a big meal and then strolled around outside of the camp to gaze at the expanse of bright stars that blanketed the dark sky. We contemplated the insignificance of man (Ps. 8) and then joined a group of other tourist around a campfire.
The next morning, we watched the sun rise over the dunes and then rode our camels back to civilization. On the way home we made several stops, one of them to have tea with our driver’s family who lived far up in the mountains. The scenery along the way was breathtaking.
But it was wonderful to come home again!