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Fossils, Music, and Nomads

After getting back to “civilization”, we decided to take another tour around the region, this time by a 4X4 vehicle.  Merzouga is popular for its giant sand dune, Erg Chebbi.   The locals believe that this dune was sent as punishment for turning away a weary traveler from the desert. They say that shortly thereafter, the gods made the dune pile up outside their town as a lesson never to send away another needy wanderer.  Indeed, it is massive.  It can reach 150 meters, or 450 feet high.  Unbelievable!

We found out there is more to Merzouga than just desert.  We found out that millions of years ago, the desert actually was at the bottom of the ocean and we saw thousands upon thousands of fish fossils to prove it.

We also went to a village and watched a performance of Gnawa musicians.  They are descendants of slaves brought to Morocco from central Africa.  They have assimilated into Moroccan culture and now are known as musicians and healers.

The highlight of the day was having lunch prepared by a nomad family.  These people live out in the middle of NOWHERE in the desert.  It is astounding to me how they can even survive in that kind of enviroment.

This has been a day of surprises.

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