Merzouga, Sahara Desert
About a year before our trip, Koko had a freak accident in LA where she ran over herself with her own SUV in Los Angeles and miraculously walked away from the scene but she suffered a low back injury. I’d watch my mother step out of bed stiff and sore rubbing her back each morning. The long bumpy drives through the Atlas mountains also took their toll on her. She never complained but I could see her discomfort but she was determined to experience riding a camel across the Sahara to watch the sunset.
We explained to the guides her low back injury and they told her the desert had healing powers. They said Dr Camel would take care of her and she should take a sand bath for her back. After riding for about 30 minutes, we dismounted our camels and walked to the top of this sand dune. Koko mama kept sliding down. For every three steps she took she slid down two. She was getting tired and discouraged and proceeded to sit down and told us to carry on without her. The guides weren’t having it. The held her on each side and helped her to the top.
They dug a whole the size of a shallow tub and covered my mom in the hole with sand up to her chest. She stayed there for 20 minutes watching the sunset in deep relaxation. When we rode back, she was so relaxed she leaned over the camel and appeared to have fallen asleep. After a long day, we both slept long and deep.
When we woke up the following morning I noticed how she sprung out of bed. She didn’t rub her lower back. She was agile and and light on her feet. She said she felt no back pain. Dr. Camel and the sahara sands had indeed healed her! During our ride back on the camel after the sand bath she said she heard a loud pop and rush of energy release from her body which caused her to slump forward in a deep relaxation. It was the chiropractic adjustment she needed.
The nomads we encountered told us that camels are important in their culture. They provide transportation, food, companionship, and believe to have healing powers. People travel from all around the world to take healing sand baths in the Sahara desert and although this was not on our original itinerary it was an arduous detour that was worth every mile and step.
Doctor Camel has chiropractic skills.
This photo of Koko mama remains one of my favorite photos of our trip.