We met a few animals in the desert. Most of them were domestic, like goats and mules.
What they found to eat is difficult to understand.
I am not sure about the camels we saw if someone owned them or if they were wild.
I saw a few lizards, but they moved so fast I was not able to take pictures of them. But a beetle was more cooperative.
To my big surprise i saw flowers in Sahara. There must have been some moisture in the ground some places and we were told that some roots went several meters down into the ground. We also saw canyons that were rivers when the occational rain fell.
But some very small flowers seem to grow straight out of the sand.
The most colourfull flower we saw is a parasite on roots from trees.
Sahara is huge, and we visited only a small corner of it. But what I saw and experienced made a deep impression on me, and I am not talking about the rock art, but the desert itself. The lines of sanddunes, the rock formations, the colours, the footprints of small animals, the vegetation that seemed dead, but just waited for moisture and the few flowers, together it was a very special and rewarding visit.
When I heard the name Sahara, I thought : Sand, and we experienced sand. But I was not prepared for the size of the sanddunes.
On the last picture there is a man walking along the edge. That shows the size of the dune.
Another picture to show something about size.
Some places the ground was flat and hard. Our driver, Karim, drove at 140 km/hour on one very flat and hard area. The second picture is on the road from the airport in Djanet and the town itself.
Most of the time we drove on sand between rocks and mountains. The mountains seem slowly to change into rocks.
The last picture is may be the picture I like the best.
There were areas where the ground was covered with stones.
Sand and wind and changing temperatures have made spectacular rock formations.
And there were arches.
Sahara was facinating and I am so glad I for the experience.
I saw flowers quite a few times in Sahara. The biggest one is a parasitic plant that lived on the roots of trees.
Some were really small and seemed to grow in the middle of the sand.
Some places must have some moisture in the ground as the plants were a bit bigger.
Nearly all trees looked dead, but they only waited for rain. Then they would turn green and set flowers. But again, some trees had leaves, so there must be some moisture in the ground some places.
After a couple of hours driving (the speed was for obvious reason not high) we arrived at the camp where we should spend the night.
Here is the camp. It was a square with “tents” and the doors were rugs hanging down. My room was behind the rug in the center of the second picture. It was OK for one night.
Here are the toiets and showers 150 meters from the camp. So even if we had flashlights in our rooms, I must admit I peed in the sand when it was night. I don’t think anyone showered, just the idea of wasting water in such a place was enough.
In this tent we had our meals, excellent food for dinner. The vehicles belong to a group of Poles who had a field trip. They emptied the bar and seemed to have a good time. At least it sounded that way.
We experienced the sunset in Sahara in the middle of huge sand dunes. To get there we rode dromedary. I was a bit worried about the animal getting up, as I knew that was in a violent back an forth movement. But I was prepared so everything went smoothly.
Here are some pictures from the ride and the sunset.
Standing on a huge sand dune I turned around a saw our shadows. I am on the far left.
Sunset in Sahara!
Members of our group coming down the dune with the sunset in their back.
After lunch we exchanged the bus with four-wheel-drive pickups and took off. It was a strange moment when we from a paved city street drove straight into a dry, grey landscape with no clear roads. At first the landscape had some bushes among sand and gravel and then we met sand dunes and four-wheel-drive was definitely necessary. Each car produced a huge dust cloud so where possible the cars spread out or kept good distance.