I’ve had a love affair with Morocco for a number of years, and I couldn’t wait to share it with Daniel since we were so close living in Granada. After checking out Rabat, Chefchouen, and Fes, it was time to head into the desert. I had a similar experience once before when traveling with Gutsy Women Travel, but this would be a new adventure—no glamping. We would also be riding our camels for several hours out to the nomad camp where we would be staying.
After I adjusted Daniel’s turban on his head, we began the long journey across the desert sands to the tent where we would be staying. I find Moroccan nomad culture to be fascinating, and how they are having to adjust their cultural practices to a changing world is interesting to experience. Once we had felt the rocking of the camels for nearly two hours, we were introduced to our nomad family and shown our accommodations for the night.
I personally find the desert incredibly peaceful, and Daniel and I settled in with our books and listened to baby goats bleating to their mothers. We were served a delicious dinner of Berber fare, couscous and vegetables—items that would keep in the heat of the desert. I slept wonderfully tucked into the camel hair blankets made by hand, and I could see the stars winking at me outside the tent.
The next day, it was another long camel ride to the Berber camp where we would be staying before we got back on a bus and headed to Marrakesh. I tried to remember to drink plenty of water, because even in late February, it was hot. I took in the orange sand and how it expanded for miles—it was amazing to think that people still lived out here and knew exactly where they were going even if all the dunes looked the same to me.
Once we had arrived at the Berber camp, we were shown to our room. We were the only guests during this time of year, and we spent a few hours nursing our sore asses from the extensive camel rides before trying out some sand boarding. Lunch was served, and I devoured it in a matter of moments.
It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that I started to feel a little sick. To avoid the heat, we went back to our tent while our Berber hosts began making our dinner.
“I don’t feel so good,” I told Daniel.
He tucked me in and told me just to relax—it would be an hour or two before dinner would be finished. As soon as I was in bed, I felt my stomach complain.
“I have to get out of here,” I said, standing up quickly and running to the tent where the bathroom was. Before I made it to the restroom, I found myself heaving up the lunch that had been prepared a few hours before.
Over the next few hours, I drank enough mint tea to drown myself in. It wasn’t long before Daniel started to experience some of the same symptoms—and his lasted well into the night. Our Berber hosts were very upset, and you could tell that they felt bad for causing our sickness. It was part of desert life—food spoiled. I felt horrible that they had to witness us feeling so lousy.
It was another long, long camel ride back to civilization. It took everything Daniel had not to puke over the side of his beast, and it would be several days before we would feel normal again. Despite all this, I would go back to the Moroccan desert in a heartbeat—just perhaps I’d watch what I was eating a bit more.
Have you ever gotten food poisoning while traveling?