I’m not sure whether dromedaries or dates came first, but we had both in the same day. The one-humped camels, by the way, are called dromedaries. Our group of a dozen or so artists and students launched the camel ride at the surf shop in Essaouira. After being well-clad in Berber style scarves, we braved the mini-sandstorm and headed south along the beach.
Our guide made sure that the camels stayed in one line. They were amazingly docile and sweet, and only pooped occasional olive-sized pellets that acrobatically cartwheeled in the sand.
After about an hour, we headed to a sheltered area of trees for a grilled sardine and watermelon lunch prepared by our camel guide.
In the evening, we feasted at the home of Diane’s friend and guide, Hassan. During Ramadan, this was a particularly festive and meaningful occasion. The table was laid out with fat juicy dried dates. Next, a huge dune of toasted almond paste flattered by bread, followed by pizza, then chicken tagine with olives and fries, custard dessert, and mint tea. My stomach hurts from the memory of how much delicious food I couldn’t consume.
The next day, we buckled down with a perspective, sighting, and measuring session first thing in the morning. Here are a few before and after sketches: