Monday, October 29, 2007

How can you compare a trip to the desert with a tour through opera houses of Europe

OK, well, you really can't, but this last trip to the Sahara ranks right up with the Opera tour with Mikey, Bud and Mary in 2005 as the most memorable of my traveling.

"You just walk for miles around a wasteland and that is fun?" a friend asked. It's not like that.

First, you don't walk for miles. You can't. It's too hot and you can't cover the distances. Mostly you travel by SUV -- not great for the environment but faster and far less painful than camels. We did a half-day tour on camels and it was enough for me to swear off ever again riding on the back of anything without a motor. My inner thighs are bruised and camels smell bad and are covered in flies. ugh.

But in the SUV you can go from one landmark and beautiful area in the desert to another. The variation in the landscape was startling. We know deserts mostly from movies and so we kept asking for DUNES! while our guides rolled their eyes. We have dune shots straight out of Lawrence of Arabia, but they are only part of the desert. There were also mountains, caves, oases, even a waterfall.

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