Road Trip/The Sahara Desert

Nothing makes your heart beat faster than a quick morning swim in the most beautiful pool in Morocco, to make it more literal then I must add that probably also the coldest. Good start for the day as some cooling down was needed against the heat that was to follow. Morocco is one of those countries that has been blessed with several different climate zones, before travelling there you better know where you are heading exactly.

Photo by Eeva Suutari

Continuing from the beautiful oasis in Skoura, our car was pointed towards the drylands and desert that are not to be taken lightly. This also meant that our outfits needed to be travel ready, flowy kaftan by Marrakshi Life for the lady and comfortable 1ST PAT-RN jacket for me. I can’t say enough good words for the Cavalry Di Maglia fabric that they exclusively use in their iconic blazers. It’s made in Italy, adds some proper sharpness to any outfit and feels like wearing a sweatshirt. It’s a staple product in every collection that 1ST PAT-RN carefully designs, navy version with brass buttons being the instant classic. I had opted for the khaki one with corozo buttons and pleated pockets, a true Safari jacket.

Photo by Eeva Suutari

The ride from Skoura to Merzouga was yet again accompanied by the most magical landscape that could have easily been added to the Planet Earth documentary, only thing missing was Sir David Attenborough on the backseat giving a detailed warning about the policemen in the desert bushes. Probably it would have saved us from an unexpected speeding ticket.

The city that we were heading for, Merzouga, is known as the gate to Sahara. And for good reason as it’s one of the last outposts before endless desert terrain where sand and wind are the unquestioned rulers. We left our car in a small village before being picked up by our local guide Nasser. Fluent in English and equipped with philosophical quotes from Marx himself, we clicked right away and so we drove in his 4x4 Jeep towards the high dunes of Erg Chebbi. Local beats were drumming through old speakers so loudly that I felt bad for them, kind of reminded me the whip of a cranky landlord. At least the music pumped us up for what was to come. Nonetheless, fortunately it didn’t last long as we switched the Jeep for camels and continued our way to the tents which were hidden from unwanted eyes.

Somewhere along the way I must have witnessed the most gorgeous sunset in my life, the one that sets the sky on fire and slowly fades into the hues of dusty pink before giving you the good old nighty-night wink.

Photo by Eeva Suutari

Morning in the desert is also truly something else as it gets quite chilly during the night, it just feels so eery to see all that sand and shiver at the same time. Luckily I had prepared for this and the perfect word for the situation is layering. It’s best to play around with fabrics that are both breathable and keep the body temperature just the way you want, nice and cozy. I went for a light blue cotton shirt from Aspesi to keep things crisp and added a hopsack waistcoat for warmth.

It’s also recommended to have some trousers on, and I couldn’t be happier that I chose ones from Rising Sun & Co, brand name that seemed to be made for the scene. They’re crafted out of this amazing herringbone cotton which has also been applied for their waistcoat found in our store.

Photo by Eeva Suutari

So - golden sand dunes, Berber treasure, Indiana Jones… Maybe I’m going too far with this but everything seemed to match perfectly. But no, there was something missing. Besides Berber treasure. Proper desert boots which were invented in the very same desert by British military - chukkas. Like a gift from above, there was a pair hidden deep in my luggage, and not just any chukkas. Snuff suede, leather soles and made in New England, these babies were from Alden.

Geared up like an eager adventurer from the 50s, I was ready for a morning challenge. Having looked around I chose the biggest dune I could find, a solid 200m sand dune, and decided to climb it’s peak. A plan doomed from the very beginning. Dear Nasser laughed at me when I told him about my intentions, saying it would take around five hours to the peak for a professional climber. Me, I would die half way there. That settled it.

At least we got some pretty damn good pictures at the playground meant for beginners.

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