Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The sea is everything

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Burot Beach, Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines
The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the globe . . . The sea is only a receptacle for all the prodigious, supernatural things that exist inside it. It is only movement and love; it is the living infinite.
~Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See, 2014

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sahara

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Sahara is a potent, evocative reality. It is one of the world’s great brands. No one name so completely epitomises an environment. Oceans can be Atlantic or Pacific or Indian, mountains can be Himalayas or Andes or Alps, but if you want to convey desert, you only have to say ‘Sahara’. (Michael Palin, Sahara, 2002)

The Sahara announced its presence as our vehicle crossed Tizi n’Tichka, the highest mountain pass in the High Atlas that links Marrakech and Ouarzazate. I looked out the window, watching the verdant hills turn into a brooding expanse of arid peaks and shriveled shrubs. This landscape, bleak and stripped of color, continued to appear, stretching as far as I could see, revealing the beauty of the Sahara.

pise (mudbrick) villages in Morocco
Driving for hours on end through this barren terrain, passing occasional rock outcrops and mud brick villages, created in my mind the most enduring and the most evocative image of Morocco. It is not Ouarzazate’s Ksar Ait Ben Haddou, or Marrakech's famed square Jemaa el Fna, or the 11th century Chouara tanneries in Fez, or the magnificent 300-meter deep Todra Gorge. It is the heat-shimmering emptiness of the Saharan landscape that haunts me to this day.
 
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