Once upon a dream of mine, which I came to find out, was definitely not Graeme’s, our first excursion was a camel ride in the desert. What we ended up with, was a hot air balloon ride in the desert, and camel ride in a park on the side of the road. Up at 430a for a sunrise balloon ride was still exciting, with the exception of: the 430a wake up call and no sun for our sunrise. Either way, we were able to get out and see the set up of a hot air balloon from inception, enough to make anyone a pyromaniac. The inflation rate of a balloon that big was quite impressive, and for a split second made you actutely aware of the fact that you might just be taking your last trip anywhere. (or at least your last look at a good head of hair) Once in the basket, it was mere seconds before we were 100 feet off the ground, and from there we eventually reached 2,380 ft. Holy balloon ride, batman!
Definitely the highlight of our early morning, (which also included a traditional Berber breakfast with about 100 of our closest bee friends) the fact that it was overcast was of little consequence, (or even that it was in fact, sprinkling rain) Some breathtaking views, and a distance from the ground that would take your breath away was reward enough.
This was followed by a camel ride that could be rivaled only by what I believe would be equivalent to a ride in a zoo…but with even less scenery. The cars passing by were good to grab a taxi if you needed one. Ah, what to do….when in Rome, do as the natives don’t ever really do. :) I guess some might liken it to San Franciscans and cable cars…expensive and unecessary. Unlike an elephant ride, (which believe it or not is a fairly comfortable experience) camels are as about as smooth as the guys from the a Night at the Roxberry, (and frankly most of my dates over the last 6 months) and they really don’t believe in letting you down gently when it doesn’t work out either. Getting on an off a camel is a lot like me learning to drive a stick shift at sixteen, lurching back and forth, and scary to you and anyone else within a hundred feet of you. However, I don’t believe that my trip to Marrakech wouldhave been complete without it, and I am happy to have done it.
Even happier that I got Graeme to join me, of which he swore he would absolutely not do! Not only do I have the gene for bargain hunting, but apparently the art of persuasion is in my wheelhouse well.