Faya Largeau - Desert Dreams


I reached Faya after a 1000 kilometre ride through the barren desert and climbed the final cliff from where there was a broad view into the fertile valley. My eyes had to adjust to the intensive green color of the thousands of palm trees. Down in the valley a caravan of camels was traveling into town. Faya was the stoppage for the caravans northbound to the Mediterranean coast of Libya, another 2000 kilometres away and the southern savannah of Africa, where I was coming from. A dusty wind blew through the center of town, where crumbling mud-brick buildings gave me nevertheless the feeling to be in a big city. It certainly was for the middle of the Sahara. The market offered the opportunity to shop for the next week out in the vast emptiness of the Ennedi desert. Toubou tribesmen were trading camel skins for daggers, while the call for prayers from the old minaret mixes with the sweet smell of the small fruit stands, selling oranges and coconuts. Faya was a great adventure and a place, that remote that there was not a single paved road for more than 1000 kilometres in all directions. Faya was Chad in one city. Desperately remote and poor in possessions but endlessly rich, with its proud and freedom-loving people and the endless breathtaking desert landscape. This place offered an opportunity to break emphatically with the comfortable western world and let me feel very small in this huge sea of sand around. Omar pushed my shoulder and showed me a bunch of tobacco leafs for his water pipe, while in the other hand he had mint leafs for making tea. „Monsieur, nous avons tout ce qui fait un homme heureux“. We were definitely ready for the great dunes of the Ennedi.