They go on for 20 to 30 kilometers, Said says. Turns out only about 20 percent of the Sahara is covered with sand and dunes we've come to associate with it - this part is known as the "Erg". The rest, the "Reg", is dry flat and rocky terrain, similar to Black Rock desert in Nevada.
The big dunes are stationary - they don't move with the wind. The biggest of them is about 150 meters tall, we are told.
The sand is very fine, almost like from an hourglass.
We go to a village of black Ghana immigrants to hear tribal singing.
Then, the guides offer us to try riding on the roof of the jeep. The feeling is incredible. It's sunny and warm, with the cool wind blowing into our faces. We are riding through the Sahara on the roof of a jeep!
After about half an hour, we stop at a nomad encampment. There are a couple of shade structures, a camel and a few baby lambs. They can't be more than a few days old. The men sit around a tiny fire, brewing tea, which they offer us. The shade structures are made of brown camel's wool tarp, stretched over wooden supports.
As we drive on, we see more of these camps. Some even have earth-and-straw structures lending them an air of permanence. From a few, young girls run out toward us waving colorful cloth they have for sale. But we don't stop.