Infinite sand and dunes, nearby oases, camels and a hot setting sun. This was the first thing I thought of when I wanted to warm up on this frosty February day!
In my imagination I was once again flying thousands of miles and I found myself in Tunisia and the sands of the Sahara were in front of my eyes again. The magic the warmth of this place were getting clearer and clearer as my body was worming up, and the memories took me again to my favorite oasis with camels. As I was getting warmer and warmer, the muse came to back to me once again and I decided to share these warm memories with you.
So let’s ride camels today!
The African base of Hollywood – yes, that’s definitely what I can call this part of the Sahara in Tunisia! Not one or two of our favorite big screen movies were shot there – I’ve already told you about the Star Wars set, , but now it’s time to take you to one of the sets for another of our favorite movies – “The English Patient”.
In short – at the time of shooting the scenes in the desert near Matmata, where the incredibly romantic scenes between Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche happen, one of the stuntmen, who parachutes and replaces the main actor, fell in love with this place, bought a large piece of land and turned it into an oasis.
An oasis where you can ride camels, drive a buggy or a jeep or just sit and drink coffee, while enjoying the sunset in the hot sands! Whatever you do, you touch a unique and perfect place, where you are the master along with the the sands and the sun!
In order to become a true part of desert culture, you need to be dressed like a Bedouin. Well, at least in its tourist version. I don’t know if you really need to be dressed like that in the event of a sandstorm or if it’s just part of the attraction. But to do what the locals recommend and the thrill and experience will be definitely amazing!
Dressed in these clothes, you must take a few pictures, then get on a camel and go for a ride in the warm sands of the desert.
When you are on the back of a camel mixed feelings start coming up. It is uncomfortable until you get used to the height and sit on the makeshift saddle, but at the same time new horizons and views open up in front of you! For a split second you realize that at this moment you only have the camel, and she is everything to you. As for the people of the desert – it is the most expensive thing they own. You feel life differently and are transported to another dimension up until the moment you start thinking again about the uncomfortable saddle you are sitting on or the camel’s attempt to lean from one side to the other. But I also have tricks on how to control it easily – I was told that camels love to be scratched behind their ears. Well, at least for a few minutes I managed to ensure myself a comfortable ride …
And for me, riding a camel in the late afternoon under the setting sun was an amazing experience! Apart from being able to experience the local way of life and culture, you are also experiencing yourself! While looking at the endless sandy horizons, you wonder what is there, where do these sands end, what will you find if you keep on riding? This somehow motivates you to be a more active person, a person looking for new horizons in personal, emotional and career terms! As if what you have achieved so far is not enough for you and you are ready to start a new journey into the unknown in order to discover your new self!
If you think that riding a camel is boring or not extreme enough – try riding a horse. There are groups of locals around you and at times they may tease you by changing the “vehicle”, but don’t pay attention to them! After all, this is their main livelihood.
Among the sands of the Sahara, you seem to be trapped in a time machine but only in this machine the time has stopped. The only thing that seems to move is the wind, which slightly lifts the sand and makes interesting air shapes out of it. The miles are melting, and everything is so close to your eyes. At times, your mind plays tricks on you because you think you’ve traveled infinitely many miles while at the same time you’ve only taken a few steps …
As someone who has visited the Sahara, I would definitely advise you to take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the sand. I did it and I don’t regret it at all – I felt a freedom, my legs were super happy, because they no longer felt the sneakers that had tightened them all day! They were free to feel the soft and warm sand, to breathe and to take new steps not only in the desert, but also in life, to the new and unknown that awaits them!
As I said, I did it – I woke up and went to new horizons! Are you ready to do it?
This post is also available in: Български (Bulgarian)