For 19 years and 4 days I haven’t quite kept my dislike for camping a secret. I have made it very clear that I don’t enjoy carrying all my gear, eating a sausage cooked over a fire, using nature’s bathroom, setting up tents, sleeping on the ground, or waking up to everything being damp. So as the above may suggest, I was not thrilled about having to go camping while in Zawiya Ahansal. I pictured myself having a bug infested unhappy night, resulting in the reinforcement of my fairly strong feelings about camping. I have never been so wrong in my life.
The moment I knew this camping night would be different was when Cloe said, “pack all your overnight things in a duffle bag for the mules to carry so that your day packs aren’t too heavy”. Our day started with a three hour hike to the camp site, and I enjoy hiking so this wasn’t a problem. Next came the food. The staff that had come along with us prepared home made donuts, and tea for our afternoon snack. For dinner we had pasta salad, couscous, and fruit for desert. The food was amazing, I barely eat this well at home in Toronto. When we arrived back from interviewing one of the local associations our tents were already set up for us. We also had mats to sleep on and big thick blankets to keep us warm. Because there is so little moisture in Zawiya everything stayed perfectly dry overnight. The only thing that didn’t change was having to use nature’s toilet, but when the stars are as beautiful as they are there it’s worth getting up a 2am to pee outside.
To everyone’s surprise I came home telling people that the camping night was my favourite part and I would do anything to be back under the millions of shining stars that light the sky in an unimaginably beautiful way.