We woke up before dawn and watched the sun rise over the Sahara. After a nice breakfast, we jumped on the camels and rode 1.5 hours back to the hotel. We took showers and grabbed our big bags and headed out with Rachid and Sayid.
We stopped at Khamlia village, a settlement of about 150 black people who perform Gnawa music. A group of 10-15 men performed just for us – an incredible concert with percussion instruments, dancing, and singing. They were so open and friendly, and their music was fantastic.
On the road out of town, young children ran to our car with desert foxes they had caught. They waved coins and bills at us and wanted us to take pictures with the foxes for money. It broke my heart that they were standing on the highway instead of sitting in school. I made the mistake of pulling a dollar bill out of my wallet and four boys tried to climb in the window to get it.
Rachid really wanted us to see the Berber market in Rissani, which was a lot of fun. It is a market where local Berbers bring their livestock, vegetables, fruit, handicrafts, and spices to sell. There was a special parking lot for the donkeys that vendors bring to market.
On the drive through the Draa Valley to Ouarzazate, Rachi and Sayid entertained us with traditional Berber folk music as well as favorites like YMCA. We taught them the dance moves to YMCA, which they thought was funny.