Donkey Crossing

Welcome to Donkey Crossing! Donkey Crossing is an on-line account of one Limey and one Yank living one Dream. From September 2006 until the end of 2007, we plan to visit friends and family on five continents and immerse ourselves into various cultures, natural phenomena and ways of life. We hope you enjoy our tales and visit often! Cheers, Jason and Rachel Napoli

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The first thing we learned as we set off on our Saharan camel trek was that there actually isn't any camel "riding" involved. The camel is actually there to carry all of the gear and make extremely odd noises throughout the experience. Since we're avid walkers, we were fine with this revelation. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew this fact before heading to the Sahara for yourselves. It's a bit of a rough journey to get here!
On the morning of our trek we met our guide (Mohamedou) and chemalier (Mohamed) bright and early. Our camels were quickly loaded (their names I never quite comprehended) and we were off. Walking. In the Sahara. Yes, very surreal!
After only twenty minutes of walking, we already felt like we had gone a hundred miles. The dune fields continue as far as the eye can see, and our world seemed to only include the howl of the wind, the blaze of the sun and the two strangers we entrusted to guide us through the desert. It was awesome right from the start.
The kilometers and hours seemed irrelevant as we sojourned through the sand. At times it felt like we were going to sink into the golden sea, while a few meters later the sand was as solid as concrete and we could scale a forty-five degree dune without effort.Mohamed leads one of our camel friends deep into the desert.Dunes......and more dunes. The shadows, colors and textures were changing constantly.
A lone donkey looks for a bite to eat, as we search for a place to set camp.
Setting up camp was an easy task. We rolled out a mat and dropped our packs into the sand. The rest of the evening was spent on top of the highest dune we could find with 360 degree views.
Saharan sunset after a long day's walk.Saharan sunrise after a bitterly cold night's sleep under the stars.Rachel makes sure one of our camels has enough nourishment for the long day ahead.Above is a photo of Mohamedou and Rachel in front of a typical camel trek breakfast. The green mat was one part bedroom, one part dining room, one part lounge and all parts completely filthy by the end of the trek. The round loaf of bread you see was baked the night before beneath the sand with burning embers from our campfire. Although sandy bread isn't the most appetizing, it was awfuly cool to see the finished product come from the Earth. Mohamed gazes into the distance as he waits for the tea-making stove to catch fire.
A very bizarre looking tree, in a virtually treeless desert.

The camel trek through the Sahara was another exciting chapter of our travels around the world and may prove hard to beat.


By the way, we've made it to Senegal and it was a pleasure to trade the Saharan sand for the Atlantic sand. The first few days were spent on the isolated beaches near the historic port town of Saint Louis: a wonderful place to unwind after an intense experience through Mauritania.

Our packs lay in front as we traversed the Senegal River, the border crossing between Mauritania and Senegal.

Visit Donkey Crossing soon to hear more about our time in Senegal!!!


Blogger maardee said...

Hi you 2

Teri and I are looking at the latest addition to DC really great

Ty and Sam and their friends from school are following also.

Miss and Love you both

MAARDEE and Teri

1:07 PM  
Blogger MidWestCowboy said...

hmmm...more stars than grains of sand??? makes ya think...

10:10 AM  

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