On the edge of the Sahara, at the end of the asphalt road, lies the sleepy town of M'Hamid (with the h pronounced with excessive aspiration), where the camel caravans used to embark on their 52 day journey to Timbuktu, to return laden with exotic riches.
In recent history, the town was attacked by Polisario in their (still unresolved) struggle over Western Sahara. But with the river Draâ increasingly dry, the sand dunes encroaching ever further on the town seem to be a graver danger.
The desert is like an ocean, its tranquil beauty always reminding of its awesome power which reduces all man's efforts to utter futility. No wonder so many religions (Jewish, Christian, Islamic) sprang from the desert - it is the ultimate lesson in humility that nature provides.