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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea


We had breakfast with the people we met on the camel trek – Caroline and Danny.  She had hurt herself badly the day before doing the sandboarding thing and had to be brought back to the hotel in a dune buggy as she had likely torn the meniscus of both knees.  They have been in Morocco for two weeks and have another two weeks to go.  So might be a bit slow going for her.  They are traveling north to south – so we are headed back the direction they just came from and vice versa.  We chatted about our travels thus far and are hoping they will come to Seattle for a visit.

Dave spent much of the day working, and Melissa spent the day working on blog posts.  She got the first 7 posts completed.  In all around 20 hours work in total.  It’s a somewhat involved process.  First she goes through all the pictures – about 830 thus far.  She stiches the panoramic views from a series of photos she takes in sequence when she wants a really wide angle shot – but doesn’t have a wide-angle camera.  Then she chooses which photos she wants to include in the blog and converts those to low resolution 100 KB files because the 6 MB pictures would take hours to load and would make the blog pages slow for people to load.  She then loads all those pictures to the blog site (www.jigsy.com).  Then she also takes the video files and goes through a similar process to take the resolution down a bit.  A 30 second video takes about an hour to load to YouTube on the hotel internet here.  So she queues a bunch of them for upload while she does other stuff.  All total the processing of the pictures and video takes about 10 hours not counting the upload time.

Then she begins the writing.  She has written some over the past week, so prior to today, about half the writing was done.  She pastes all the pictures into a word document so she can write with the pictures in context.  All total the writing takes about 8 hours for 8000 words in the thus far seven blog posts.

The final step is to copy the blog posts from the word document to the blog site.  And then add the links to the pictures that were already loaded.  Due to the slow internet speeds here, this took about two hours.

We took a break mid-day to go grab lunch at a restaurant in town.  Melissa ordered salad and pan-fried turkey fillets.  The salad was actually 6 small bowls of different things.  One was a potato salad, one was tomatoes and cabbage, one was eggplant.  She was totally full by the time the main dish arrived.  Another giant plate full of food.  And then they brought us big bowls of cut fruit for dessert.  We skipped dinner we were so stuffed.  All that food for about $14 US dollars.  It’s crazy.

In the late afternoon, we started to hear thunder and headed upstairs to the bar to watch a storm come in.  The wind was blowing up quite a sandstorm.  Below is a picture of what the view from the deck normally looks like, and a video of the storm blowing through.  The window in our shower was left open and a pile of sand blew in.  The computers we sat outside with were covered with grit because even sitting in the gardens inside the hotel, we hadn’t realized just how much sand was in the air and was slowly covering everything!  We wondered how the batch of tourists that departed on the camels an hour before the storm hit were faring.  Just standing outside to video the storm for a minute from the relative shelter of the deck had Melissa rubbing the sand from her eyes.  Merzouga gets about 10mm of rain on average in the month of April, so apparently this storm isn’t unusual for this time of year.


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