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Shadows without light, luxuriant bursts of palms among stretches of barren land where you'd swear you'll never see water again, canyon rock formations that turn out to be fortified villages – a three-day guided driving loop from Marrakech to the dunes of Erg Chebbi in early summer was one mirage-like surprise after another.DUNE-RIDING DROMEDARIESWhile he liked to play pop hits and discuss U.S. immigration policies in fluent English, Said Ahnana, my driver and guide from the Desert Majesty tour company, had grown up in a nomadic family, herding camels among these dunes. It took him a minute in a village sewing store to wrap three meters of turquoise fabric around my head into a sand-proof turban called a shesh, getting me ready for leaving the road behind, stepping out into the dunes and onto the kneeling camel for a sunset ride. Waveringly perched above Georgie, I watched the nomadic encampments disappear as we climbed 150 meters up the dunes. This June 2013 photo shows a desert sun casting a shadow of a three-camel caravan on the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, Morocco, at the edge of the Saharan desert.
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