Gulmim is called ‘The door to Sahara‘. Back in 2000 it was a simple village without roads. It’s changing ridiculously fast and soon it’ll become a tourist resort. Airport is in progress. I really like the city because it makes me feel like I am somewhere in virgin lands of Africa. Fruits are more aromatic, pace of life is very slow and you can find and experience things that you won’t see in the north of Morocco.
I always seek the most local experience possible. Always try to escape from the touristy places and my curiosity always leads me to magical spots, like the one below.
Carpets and the concrete floor are united thanks to litres of tea that has been poured accidentally over the years. Well, it feels comfortable – your carpet is always in the right place. We order a tajine with 3 eggs and a big teapot filled with liquid diabetes – Moroccan mint tea.
I move a little backwards as the teaguy shakingly pours tea in our cups. I don’t want to end up like those carpets – with the sticky potion all over me. This tajine is probably the best egg omlette I’ve ever had in my life. Tastes and smells so bio. The place and recipes are still free from tourists’ epidemic. Untouched by washing agents, perfectly non-sterile.
We’re served on the floor – just as I like it the most. No forks allowed! We finish, I go to pay.
– Bch’hal? – I ask
– Ashreen – I hear
I start to doubt in my darija, did I hear well, 20 dirhams for all that feast? I give him 25 and we go deeper in the souk.
Souks are the best places for hunting.
Colors hunting. Smells hunting. Adventure hunting. I feel like a silly tourist trying to capture every single moment, color, face in a photo. To my surprise everybody smiles and is happy to pose for me even though it is a rainy Sunday morning. Something that we least expect in Sahara!
The last part, and probably one of the most exciting, is shopping. I leave all my savings in Gulmim… There are streets where you will find shops selling exclusively melhfas – long pieces of fabrics that Sahraoui women wear. Melhfas are very comfortable, protect you from the sun, heat and sandstorms. Apart from melhfas, there are three other things that caught my attention… Camel’s milk – it comes from this region and is worth trying. Handmade keyrings for 30 dhs each – probably the first symptoms of tourists’ epidemic… And I am a victim. And African solid and oil parfum and other goods imported from Subsaharian Africa – something I can’t find in the north.
The last thing I absolutely love about this region – the oasis. They are located some kilometres from the town and are so peaceful – something that nature and meditation lovers will certainly appreciate. Thanks to my friends I also have an opportunity to visit real nomads and drink tea with them. I truly believe that meeting other people is the most enriching lesson in life. I see that life is good when it’s simple. Thank you dear nomads for this beautiful lesson!
You can get there by car or a taxi.
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