Our day began with an early start to catch the sunrise. Our overnight stop was a hotel near the town of Midelt, Morocco. Now there's not much around and the landscape appears rather desolate - it is after all in the high plains of Morocco lying between the Middle and High Atlas mountains. Braving the cold - a hint here, do not head outside in the early morning with wet hair (January is winter), the temperature is freezing, literally, and you will soon find yourself with frozen hair ;-) - it is well worthwhile. The view of the snow capped Atlas mountains in the distance being kissed by the morning sun - priceless. After a most pleasant drive, by late afternoon, there we were in Merzouga. What a contrast from the morning - relaxing on the rooftop terrace of our riad, sipping mint tea, savouring delicious olives and looking across the tops of the date palms in the palmerie to magnificent red, red desert sand dunes. So close we could almost touch them! We had to pinch ourselves, so amazing we could hardly believe what we were seeing. And to think we had come to this from gazing at snow capped mountains all in just one short day.