Sunrise in the Erg Chebbi – somewhere near Merzouga, Morocco

Late last year V and I packed the rambler with her parents and snacks and hit the road for a white-knuckle trip from Rabat past Rissani and back, covering multiple mountain passes in order to catch the sunset and sunrise in the desert before racing back north. The journey took us through snow-capped mountains, cedar forests filled with monkeys, switchback passes (guard rails?  not always) and ultimately into the desert between Rissani and Merzouga.

We missed the sunset by minutes (and I admittedly beached the car near the dunes and was bailed out by a crew of Bedouin teenagers), though the sunrise made up for what we missed the night before.

joeldowlingphotography_rissani 001

I planned accordingly, walking further and further out in the dunes well before the sun came up.  Waking up ahead of the sunrise is rough, though walking out into the desert when it is freezing cold and an hour ahead of a cup of coffee requires an internal pep-talk.  One foot in front of the other.  Don’t think about bed.  Don’t think about anything.

The sunrise was slow and beautiful, and I was happy to look back towards our accommodations where I saw V and her parents taking it all in.

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