I spent last New Year’s Eve in a tree house in northern Laos’ Bokeo Nature Reserve, while on an amazing eco tour adventure called The Gibbon Experience. Here’s a video I put together of the 3 days and two nights in the jungle.
Turns out I did manage to put together a short video of my time in the Sahara, taking us on a camel ride set to the soundtrack of traditional Berber music, as played by our guides. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it earlier. Maybe I didn’t like it before and only think it’s cool now out of nostalgia. Anyway, here it is; I’ve added it to the original Sahara post, “Infinite Grains of Sand,” as well.
I’m learning that there are all sorts of different ways of being alone. There’s a spectrum, really, and I think we need more words to describe the various points one can be on it. Maybe these words already exist and I just haven’t learned them yet.
In Fes, I was mostly by myself but rarely ever alone. The night I arrived there, I walked through the streets to dinner with an Argentinean staying at the riad, despite myself, to be honest. Apparently three days in Tangier wasn’t enough to fully recharge me, because when Guido said he was going to dinner and asked if anyone wanted to join, the only thing that stopped me from saying no was my manners – I was just about to walk out the door myself. On the way to a restaurant he wanted to try but ultimately couldn’t find, we ran into Phil, an Australian I knew from Marrakech. Morocco is small like that. So is the world, for that matter. He was also going to dinner, and joined us.
This is one of my favorite videos on the Internet. The kites are made by Steve Polanski and painted by his wife, Mairead, and together they bring a sense of wonder to the beaches of Toronto. The song is “Lighthouse,” by Patrick Watson.
I left home three weeks ago, and so far, I have to say I’m amazed by how much this trip is going exactly as I hoped it would. I had a wonderful time in London, seeing old (travel) friends and making new ones, and now I think Marrakech has set a nearly impossibly high standard for the rest of this trip. I came here (over the objections of some more familiar with Morocco who said it was too touristy and my time would be better spent in Fes) because I had the sense that it would provide an ideal base for doing/seeing a variety of things outside the city itself. With a weekend in Essaouira, an expedition to the Sahara and a cinematic three-day trek in the High Atlas, I couldn’t be happier with how things have worked out.
3 days, 2 nights with 1 American, 1 Brit, 1 German, 2 Québécoise, 2 Frenchies, 2 Australians, 6 Brazilians, and 1 Moroccan driver. 1000 kilometers, 1 hotel room, 6 Berber tents, 2 gorges, 229 pictures, 16 camels, 2 flat tires, 1 bottle of wine, infinite grains of sand.
The culminating experience was a camel ride over sand dunes to a Berber camp in the desert, and the dinner and drum circle that followed. I think all of us will never forget the first time our camels rose in three distinct stages from underneath us, vaulting us high above the sand. But truly it’s the sum of the experiences, and the people with whom I shared them, that will leave an indelible mark on me.
Put an ocean and a river between everything, yourself and home…
This was my first attempt at this type of video, and my first use of the GoPro. Also shot with my iPhone and Rebel T2i. I learned a lot – hopefully these videos will improve over the course of the trip. Thanks to Carey for being such a willing participant!
The song is England, by The National.