After weeks of steeling ourselves for survival in the bush, Battle Axe, D Dawg and I bit the bullet and hopped on an overnight bus to the South. We'd prepared every necessity for 2 months of primitive camping—a tent soaked in Deet with enough floor space for 3 full-sized Julia's and packs, mosquito net body bags, ultra-violet water purification laser pens, and a full can of automobile fuel for miniature camping stove (and miniature espresso maker!)--all we found useless when we arrived in Tan-Tan.
Alex gets kidnapped in the Sahara
Khalti Naima ushered us into her home, offering warmed wheat bread, a hot shower, freshly made beds, and a breakfast that covered two coffee tables. When we'd asked our Moroccan friends of people they knew in the south, in hopes of finding a free place to stay, we had no idea we'd entered into the unadvertised but five-star informal Moroccan Couch-surfing network. Our every need was met before even uttered in our flawless but sometimes lazy Moroccan Arabic. Our true wants (to just stay in Morocco for the next two months) were satisfied as we gave a proper goodbye to the country we've grown to love so much, and repeated the simple things that our Moroccan friends had taught us to love so much. We were henna'd, we danced and we made delicious foods. We posed for pictures in traditional garb, played with babies, and watched Mexican soap operas dubbed in Arabic. We wandered the desert city with cousins Amina and Majda, buying colorful wraps and returned home to pull apart freshly baked harsha, creating the foundation for the healthiest “rifisa” (a mountain of spicy chicken, lentils, beans, and sauteed onions) we'd ever tasted. The thought of setting up camp in a Senegali rain forest seemed far away, if not less and less appealing.
Well-rested and refreshed, we said our goodbyes and grabbed a taxi, off to Laayoune to celebrate the Big Moroccan Holiday (L3id kibir) during our final days in our second home-land.