Woke up with the rustling of the rest of the camp, and just made it to the nearest dune to watch the sun rise over the plains beyond. A desert sunrise to match the two sunsets that we’d shared in this magical place. We came down for breakfast; the usual bread, jam, la vache qit rit, and tea. After a somewhat rushed meal, it was time for the mass exodus of all of the tourists. We got ushered into our respective 4x4s, and had a very tired drive back to M’Hamid.
We arrived in town, changed, and failed to get on the first taxi out, as we got ourselves sucked into Ali’s cousin’s shop next door for tea. On the upside, a slower exit meant that we got to say proper goodbyes to Ali and Nezha. But, we did lose about two hours of precious time. Finally, we caught a very slow and very packed “grand taxi” to Zagora. This taxi was more of a passenger van with very tiny seats, and by the time we reached town, they managed to fit 23 passengers inside. While a taxi would have been a much nicer and more comfortable experience, I it was an interesting glimpse into local life; this was a very valid means of local transportation, and everyone just shoved in, and personal space was abandoned, and that’s just the way it was. An old man gave me his seat, clearly the outsider, and he did it in such a way as to avoid any argument or question.
Once in Zagora, I tried to ship the big mirror that I had purchased two days before but apparently the local post office couldn’t ship internationally. Thankfully, it was wrapped exceedingly well for easy and safe transport, so I ended up just carrying it throughout the rest of the trip, and right onto the plane. We had tea with Ali’s friend, who tried to tempt Liz with jewelry, but in the end traded her ill-fitting cargo pants for a broken mirror. We barely made it to the bus station to catch a 5p bus to Marrakech. It was better than the packed van we’d just taken, but it was not up to the CTM standards of the bus we’d taken here. The ride was very, very, long. The seats were broken, and there were annoying girls behind us listening to loud music. I barely slept, but Liz managed. Her ability to sleep anywhere amazes me; it comes in very handy for traveling. We finally got into Marrakech around 3a, and tried to go to Dar Soukaina where we’d discussed previously showing up late and catching a few z’s on their roof terrace, but apparently it was just rudely late, and they didn’t let us in.
Defeated and determined, we went back to the bus station, and caught a 4a bus to our next destination; Essaouira. This ride, our 4th of the day, was the worst. It was not only slow, but COLD.
Day 7 was a bit of a wash.