Sep 13:  Merzouga/Sahara Desert to Todra Gorge

Sad day, as I am not at SerbFest.  Moroccan food is good, but Serbian and Turkish are in an elite class.  Cevapi is close to being the perfect food.  Perhaps closer than pussy fried rice.

It got cold during the night.  I was awake from 4am.  Official wakeup was 6am.  My ass is so sore!  From the camel.  From riding the camel.  From non-anally riding the camel using it as a means of non-sexual transport.  I feel that I should clarify.

Left 6:30am, after Sophia searched forever in the sand for some mystery object.  Found out later it was a cross she'd been wearing for 15 years.  :(

Camel guy took photos with my camera.  He's not bad.

Different camel.  I think Leann got Casanova.

This was sunrise, BTW.  I'd never seen the moment the sun pops over the horizon before.

Camel leg and the sun as camel guy tries to wreck my camera.

As we rode the camels back to the hotel, I was in such a position that my body was thrust forward with every step of the camel.  This and the proximity of ladies (in both groups) caused me to quickly sprout a boner.  But then my tool was rubbing in a fold of my pants.  The camel was literally jerking me off and I was powerless to stop it.  Think unsexy thoughts think unsexy thoughts think unsexy thoughts.  Fortunately I was able to retract and avoid a meltdown.  Someone told me along the way that my camel's name was Jerky.  OK, NOW I GET IT.  It thought it meant he had a jerky gait but it really means any male rider gets a hump job.

Back to the hotel.  Got access to our bags.  Most people took showers but I didn't because I'm so clean from the pool and the camel.

Breakfast 8am.  I saw a giant beetle on the floor!  Then I went over to charge my camera battery and then sat back down.  Then I saw a giant SQUASHED beetle on the floor.  Oops.  :(

My jeans are clean except for the crotch which smells like camel.  Isolating this in a plastic bag with my wet bathing suit until I can air them out.

Left Merzouga 9am.  Stopped at 9:55am for 10 minutes at a camel milk place.

Camel drinking a Coke.  Actually, some camel formula in a Coke bottle.  A few people drank samples of camel milk but that's not an exotic thing I want to consume.  Someone else didn't want it because she doesn't like milk in general.  Same here.  Milk isn't my bag.  My mom said I wasn't into it.  Even in the '60s I found boob-milk a bit extreme.

At 11am we stopped at a system of wells.

I AM AT THE BOTTOM OF A WELL.  If the camel ride/erection had been timed better, I could have sent my love down the well.

40-km channel underground.  Multiple wells.

Not singling anyone out, but...many of the conversations in the minivan sound like NPR programming.  Just kidding.  That's just a stereotype about Canadians that has no basis in reality whatsoever.

For some reason the Sting WWE 2K15 ad has been stuck in my head all day.

Arrived in Todra Gorge 1:30pm at the Kasbah Restaurant Amazir.  iPhone says we're in Tinghir but the temperature doesn't correspond.  It's much cooler here.  Lunch was a Berber omelette with curry on the back patio by the stream.  The Berber omelette was perhaps our favorite discovery in Morocco, challenged by the Moroccan salad.  The other G group is here too, including the really young-looking girl with the eyebrows who asked for an alternative to the omelette because you know why.  Really, how well-thought-out was your decision to go to a meat-eating country if you're a weirdo non-meat-eater?  Also, most guys won't date you if you don't love hamburgers.  You have some time to work all of that out in your head I guess.

2:35pm...Internet finally!  Replaced the WTC pic and belatedly wished a happy birthday and happy Odessa day.  Staying on top of things.

Sat by the pool with Sophia.  She had a decent amount of gin left and I drank the lion's share.  I tried to explain the difference between pigeon and dove, which are the same thing in German.  Found out later they're biologically indistinguishable.  I was asked if I'm circumcised.  I said yes, because I'm not a freak.  "That's good."  Hell yeah it is.

Dinner would be at the hotel and we had to order our food in advance.  At first I wrote down couscous, since I hadn't had any in Morocco yet and it was on my list of 8 things.  Then I saw the large note "NO COUSCOUS".  I was drunk so I missed this.  Ordered kefta tajine instead.

At 4:35pm we left for a hike in the gorge.  Sophia staggered onto the minivan drunk, though she'd had less gin than me.  Just now I feel dirty (no official shower for 3 days).

Bridge along the hike.  A dog went with us partway and I thought he was leading us like Mischa on 9-11 (as commemorated on my Contiki shirt:  "Don't follow me, I'm following the dog."

It rained briefly and was windy.  Nice.


All hikes should comprise a channel.

We had to hop rocks across this stream.  I slipped off the tricky one and soaked my shoe.  A fatal soaking...the shoe has since been thrown away.  Sophia slipped off a non-tricky one.

Only group photo I got.  Left to right (made easy by the convenient staggering):  Sana, Ayaka, Noel, Sophia Zielke-Putro, Leann, me, Nikky, Emilie, Jonathan, Norma, Rebecca, Dick, Percy, Bev.  Never got a photo of Abdoul, who took this.

Gorgeous.  I'm using that to mean "of or like a gorge".

Failed selfie.  Sophia asked me to retain this.

The newlyweds.

Cool hotel or restaurant.  I think people rock-climb here.

Would be better without half the road.

Gorge, from a footbridge.

Left the gorge 6:45pm.  On the way back there was an option to stop at a carpet co-op.  9 people opted.  Really?  Still?  The other 5 us arrived at the hotel at 7pm and I went straight for my 3-day shower.  And the Wi-Fi works somewhat in my room!

Group reunited for dinner at 8pm.  "How was the carpet thing?"  "Interesting."  Suckers.

Took a PM pill at 9:40pm and worked on these notes.  Bed 11pm.  I had the AC on and the windows open.  Power was scheduled to go out imminently, so I figured this would keep the room cool as I fell asleep (it was already cool anyway) and then I'd stay asleep as the background sound switched to the stream.