Got up before sunrise to catch the 6:30 bus to Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara. It was supposed to be a nine hour trip, but that was Moroccan time so it was a bit over ten. On the bus we met a local guy who seemed genuinely friendly and suggested that his uncle could take us on a desert tour, spending the night in the desert, very reasonably. We (Team Morocco '98: James, James, Jen, Marian, and me) decided to take him up on his offer. I just assumed that spending the night in the desert meant camping under the stars with the guide cooking, like in Wadi Rum in Jordan.
On arrival in Erfoud the uncle was waiting in a Land Rover and we were shortly off into the Sahara. After stopping at a fossil shop, looking for fossils in the hills (thousands of them, all over), and having tea with some Bedouins (nomadic Berbers) in their tent we were finally delivered to Erg Chebbie, Morocco's only true Saharan sand dunes.
Somewhat to our surprise we were dropped off at our hotel (accommodation extra of course). After lots of discussion we opted to stay on the roof which was only 20 dirham (~US$2), but still pretty annoying. We watched the sun set over the liquid like sand, then climbed up to the summit of the highest dune (well, James, James, and I did, the women opted out a few dunes earlier). Climbing on the shifting sand is pretty difficult and by the time we got back to the hotel my throat was raw from breathing so hard. We spent the night playing cards (Shithead) and hanging out under the very impressive stars. Out of protest, none of us had diner.