In a desert state of mind

We’re now more than a month into our trip around Morocco, and I have lots of things I want to say about it. But I’m struggling to formulate those thoughts exactly. I think what it comes down to is that it’s a beautiful and fascinating place, but I don’t like being in a place with so much inequality.

By inequality, I mean several different things, such as gender inequality, inequality of wealth and opportunity between Morocco and Europe, unequal distribution of wealth and opportunity within Morocco, the way those inequalities seem to be correlated with racial/ethnic differences, etc.

I’ll write more about this in future, but in the meantime here are a few views from the south of Morocco, in the Sahara Desert, where the landscape is very different from anything I’m used to.

Dunes near Merzouga
Dunes near Merzouga
camel-sign
Camel sign by the side of the road
The fortified village of Ait Benhaddou
The fortified village of Ait Benhaddou
camels
Camels grazing on some rare tufts of grass and vegetation
Camels near Merzouga
The only people I’ve seen riding camels are tourists—local people prefer motorised transport, which I can quite understand. I tried it once in Tunisia, and it’s not a comfortable experience.
palmeraie
Most of the rivers in this region are either completely dry or just small trickles, but some of them still support huge oases of date palms and other agriculture, such as this one at Agdz in the Draa Valley.

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9 thoughts on “In a desert state of mind

  1. Thank you, Andrew. The photos are amazing. I look forward to more about the inequality. I wonder where we would go to find less of it.

  2. Thanks Andrew for those interesting pictures. The world, through the eyes of Andrew Blackman, yes?
    Hope you are drinking lots of water!

    1. Hi Jennifer, Yes, that’s about it! Well, right now southern Morocco through the eyes of Andrew Blackman, but if I can keep going long enough, why not the world? 🙂 And yes, I’m drinking LOTS of water! In fact, being in this part of the world really makes me appreciate and value water. We stock up with litres of it at every opportunity.

  3. For me Morocco is a feast of colours. Your images remind me of a wonderful few weeks spent travelling there
    with a friend. The small Atlas and up and down the Atlantic coast. You might enjoy a small collection of my photos from that time, now nearly 8 years ago https://500px.com/ashen/galleries/morocco

    I hope you write more about your journey. Like you, I still have yet to find the words to share my experiences of Morocco.

    1. Hi Ashen,
      Thanks for the link – I loved looking at your photos! You really captured the mood of the place. Some things have changed now—the road from Essaouira to Marrakesh is now much wider, for example. But others have stayed the same—those Mercedes grand taxis are still in service all over the place! They look as if they’ve been driving these roads for 30 years and will probably continue for another 30 years 🙂

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