At 12:30 pm today, we departed ALIF on couch buses for our Sahara trip. The ride to our first hotel was more than 7 hours, and involved travelling through the Atlas Mountains. The trip was long, and the view wasn’t what I would call scenic, as it mostly consisted of rough earth, mountains, and plains. We did drove past an oasis, which was this spot in a valley full of trees and buildings.
Tired, hungry, thirsty, not quite clean, we arrived at Kasbah Hotel Xaluca Maadid in the city of Erfoud. In the middle of nowhere on the side of the road, the huge gate and curved words of Xaluca welcomed us. The moment we walked through the door of the room my roommate and I were sharing, I was speechless. The room was well-furnished, with big beds for both of us, a toilet with toilet paper, a functioning shower (imagine my joy of seeing it after using a bucket for a month), air conditioning, TV, and nice comfy chairs. We went to dinner, which was a buffet of delicious Moroccan dishes, salads, couscous, and desserts. I took a little bit of everything and enjoyed my freedom of not having to eat my food with bread.
The hot weather was perfect for a dip in the pool in the middle of the hotel, pretty much everybody went into the pool, only to be called out at 11 pm for the dance party set up for us. All I have to say is that my Arabic teacher in the morning has got some pretty impressive moves (he also runs pretty fast when being chased by someone who tried to throw him into the pool). I called it a night after a game of pool and happily fell asleep on my comfortable bed in the air-conditioned room.