My guide wakes me early so that I can watch my first desert sunrise. I marvel again at the beauty and tranquillity of this vast place where there is everything and nothing to see. The tent that we called home last night is minute against the spectacular Moroccan scenery of the Atlas Mountains.
Outside, our camels await the final leg of our journey to Marrakech. This eight-day trek has been an eye opener for me in many ways. Camping under the desert's star-spangled skies, I feel elated to have rediscovered my delight in life's simple pleasures.
What has prompted this joy in me? Nothing more than the enjoyment of the simplest and most satisfying meal I have tasted for some time. Before my eyes, our plain fare became an exotic banquet thanks to a handful of herbs and spices! I watch transfixed as our guide combines almond and ginger, saffron and cumin to create a dance of mesmerising temptation and delight.
I can still almost taste the harissa, the hot sauce with piri piri chilli peppers, the stark freshness of the mint and the gentle glow of the almonds. I can taste too, my own excitement as I think of how I can put what I've learnt here into practice back home. What a tantalizingly different twist these flavours will offer when enjoyed among the lush green pastures near Dellcombe Bottom.
Our guide tells me there is an ancient tradition in Morocco of passing recipes by word of mouth from generation to generation. I too cannot wait to delight and inspire my friends with the ideas that are buzzing around my head as we move camel-wards to Marrakech.