Monday, October 21, 2019

Home - the best place to be!

We made it home from London yesterday evening after battling thousands
at Heathrow, then Charlotte, and even here in Raleigh! Airports are just getting so
 difficult, tiresome, and getting through them in those ever lengthening lines is like
 fighting a battle.  Seems everyone has TSA Pre Check now!  We do have 
Global Entry which gets us through Immigration faster - however as usual I was 
called aside because of my fingerprint problem - I don't have any clear ones for
 the machine to read! Perhaps it's easier in Business/First but for the rest of us - the
 majority of us - it's murder in the airports these days.

I'm too busy/tired today to write much now.
The garden is still suffering from the drought which was in effect 
when we left. It's cooled a bit but apparently only a light shower fell
the entire time we were gone, almost three weeks! 
No much-needed soaking rain.
I looked out early this morning as the sun came up - jet lag had me up
 before 5 AM, so I started unpacking. Then I noticed just a touch of color 
brightening the morning - those hardy little morning glory seeds did
germinate after all!

I'll be back here later in the week - stories and photos to share of some new, interesting, 
often mysterious, lovely places and beautiful people. . . . . . .and tales of life on board 
a small ship.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sahara Desert wanderings -

The part of the Sahara Desert we visited was quite surprising. 
It made me think of visiting Antarctica where one is 'there' but rarely gets to visit 
the actual South Pole. The Sahara is the largest hot desert, and third largest
 desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic. Covering 9,200,000 square
 kilometres it is comparable to the area of China or the United States.

The Sahara comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region
 of the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Magreb, and
 the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan. 

From the port of Dakhla, our fleet of twenty seven 4X4 vehicles, without
 air conditioning, drove us through the city to the Lagoon area and into the
 desert for the visit to the Sahraoui Camp - a rather long, very bumpy, uncomfortable
 drive to say the least! Accompanied by serious looking armed Police in cars, 
vans and on motor cycles, we felt somewhat over-protected.

We were there in the desert but despite the sand it didn't really feel like we had
reached the true desert. It was so vast and I wished we could go further with no
 views of water and kite-surfers in the distance! 

Me with our guide Rashid.

Dancing and afternoon tea. . . . . . . .Sahara Desert style.

Tasting Saharawi Tea.

"Do not regret the passing of the camel and the caravan. 
The Sahara has changed, but it remains a desert without compromise, the world in its extreme. 
There is no place as dry and hot and hostile."
William Langewiesche - Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Moroccan Colors -

Today we have been at sea with no shore excursion. Water quite flat mostly. 
One whale and a lot of dolphins spotted from the deck.
Beautiful sunshine and comfortably warm so enjoyed lunch on the lido deck 
under a bright blue umbrella. 

We are now sailing to the desert city of Laayoune via the port of El Marsa.
 We will have a tour ashore tomorrow morning - Saturday, October 12. 
We are told we will be escorted by Police!!!

Just a few photos to show you some colors of Morocco from the past couple of days.
More to come.  

 Entrance to an art gallery in Agadir.

Musicians welcoming us to lunch in Agadir.

 Home for a few of the many, many feral cats in Agadir............

.............such as this one on the wall of the Casbah overlooking the harbor.

 Beautiful Moroccan traditional bread.

Our traveling friend Kim - from bus to a camel at the Casbah stop!

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