Erg Chebbi   123077
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1 Yasmina dune
2 Tourist camp
3 Merzouga lake
4 Hassi Labied
5 (Tourist camp, hidden)
6 Merzouga dune
7 Bivouac
8 Riad Maria
9 Piste Merzouga - Erfoud
10 Kasbah Yasmina
11 Bivouac
12 Lake Yasmina
13 Tourists


Location: Dune near Yasmina (865 m)      by: Pedrotti Alberto
Area: Morocco      Date: 27-03-2013
I had greeted the previous day from the top of another dune, where I had thrown my sleeping bag (see label). Although awakened by the rising light, I decided to sleep another bit (the night before had been spent not in the luxury of a sand dune, but on a bus) and, like it is guaranteed in these cases, when I happened to open my eyes again the sun was already high. I had missed the famous show of sunrise on the desert, which thing did by no means worry me, since I had already admired and widely documented the sunset.
However, the day passed quickly among walks in the middle of the Erg and around the Merzouga lake: when the sun left me, I was still on the shore of the lake, facing a group of flamingos. I knew from the GPS the exact time at which the full moon would rise, and I phoned home asking somebody to look on Internet the exact azimuth. When I was ready with the flamingos aligned with the expected moonrise, the flamingos fled away to another location. They are minimally interested in photography, coordinates or azimuths. When I cycled back to a dinner in Merzouga it was already dark, such that I planned another night on the dunes. In Morocco when you want to be left in peace you must pretend to have in mind very precise ideas and addresses. Now, I remembered the name Yasmina from Martin's panos, and I had also seen the place signposted while approaching the Erg. So I had an answer ready for everybody offering accommodation: I am fine, I am heading to Yasmina.
Inspired by this refrain, I thought: Why not to really go to Yasmina this time? And that I did. With the aid of the full moon, I cycled the piste down to the dry lake and, pushing the bicycle a little bit further, I found a protected depression in the first metres of the Erg (see label).
So, at dawn, it was a joke for me to be on the top of the dune while all the other people (find them in were still hurrying towards it... Unfortunately I was in bad photographic shape that morning, and I missed a lot of overlaps in several 360° panos which should have documented the moonset/sunrise. What you see here is the first effective panoramic work of the day.
People eager for errors are encouraged to inspect the sand in the both light-shadow and wind-shadow region close to me, and its reflections. There is plenty of irregular patterns: these are actual stitching problems which I have patched only partially, since they witness that, yes, the world before me was changing in a discernible way even in the turn of few seconds! Actually, you can appreciate on the ridge the amount of sand transported by the wind in those moments.
My standpoint towers out very clearly in N.11853: thanks to Martin for having now dedicated a label to it. Not forgetting the fact that, as I explained, he is also the indirectly responsible for myself being in that precise place that morning!


Great image. I like the scale of the landscape -shown by the two people walking - bottom right.
2013/04/10 21:49 , Paul Chater
Superb. This is the place we wanted to reach in October last year but couldn't due to the rains. "Lake" Yasmina is dry here - nice contrast. I've labeled this one on mine (with the "lake" that is normally dry being wet) - hope to have understood the correct location. Cheers, Martin
2013/04/10 22:47 , Martin Kraus
Fantastic picture, and an interesting story as well.
2013/04/11 08:37 , Jens Vischer
Simply great!

Jörg E.
2013/04/11 10:10 , Jörg Engelhardt
Incredible fascinating!

Beautiful light and ambience! How long takes it to climb such a big dune, for example from Basecamp?!

greetings Seb
2013/04/11 15:59 , Sebastian Becher
Great work and stunning light!

LG Werner
2013/04/11 18:05 , Werner Schelberger
Uno spettacolo!
2013/04/11 21:31 , Giuseppe Marzulli
A wonderful soft and warm quality. LG Jan.
2013/04/11 22:38 , Jan Lindgaard Rasmussen
Thanks to everybody!
This dune is accessed very easily: the distance from Yasmina is limited and the ascent, according to GPS data, spans from 734 to 865 metres.
The dune that you see at 250°, with the label of my previous bivouac, can be accessed in 70-80 minutes from the riads on the opposite side. And, for the dune at 150°, people offering camel tours at the same riads speak of one day only to go (!).
Note: today I added directions by means of Udeuschle. To get the rendering, I had to set a camera height of 130 metres, since at the coordinate supplied by the GPS the recorded height was 735... This is another proof of how that of the dunes is a rapidly changing world!
2013/04/12 01:11 , Pedrotti Alberto
Stunningly beautiful. Good in the combination with the pictures of Martin.
2013/04/12 09:28 , Christoph Seger
incredibile, Alberto!
2013/04/13 04:48 , Augustin Werner
So I imagine the desert.
2013/04/15 22:06 , Jörg Braukmann

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Pedrotti Alberto

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