The nomads were on the edge of the desert, sheltering from the sun in a camel-hair tent. Their dogs barked and snarled as we approached. Camels and mules swung their heads and stared.

Men came striding out with curved daggers hanging down their backs and long Berber scarves wrapped around their heads and necks. We could see women herding black goats and white sheep in the middle distance, and the great stone folds of the Atlas Mountains behind them.

I was travelling with Alex Edwards, an unflappable Englishman who runs an offbeat safari company, specialising in visceral outdoor journeys in remote parts of Africa. Alex is 6ft 5in and he was wearing a blue Berber scarf, or cheche, turbaned around his head. I’m 6ft 3in and I had on an Australian bush hat. Both of us felt enormous and outlandish, like giants from the future walking back into the Old Testament.

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