Published: October 24th 2007October 19th 2007
Once again we awoke to stunning scenery in the dawn light and we were off on schedule to continue towards Dakhla
, some 30 or more miles to the south east. This is a huge oasis where reportedly 10,000 souls live. It is nothing like what one thinks about when an oasis is mentioned. Yes there were date palms in abundance but there were also fields of green crops growing, cattle grazing, and there were street lights through the centre of the town itself. We stopped to explore the older parts of the town with their quaint little buildings made from mud a with few outside windows to prevent the heat getting in.
On we pressed towards the next oasis complex, Kharga
, another very large and well watered area with a huge population, only to refettle and refuel before setting off south towards Baris
and picking up the north easterly road to Luxor
This is where we encountered the police for real. Clearly the road blocks we had passed repeatedly had signaled ahead that there were 6 (mad?) English in 3 cars traveling this route so they knew all about us as we reached the next block. But in Kharga
Shopping in Dakhla (for hats...)
they followed us into town where Jeremy and I filled up with fuel while Ian pressed on into town to look for some shopping. The police were most concerned that we had split and wanted to know why. When we rejoined they led us to the exit road towards the south and then followed us for some 10 miles or so, at a discrete distance behind. When we turned off this road onto the Luxor road, through a road block yet again, we picked up a new lot of coppers who trailed us in the same way. We went for about 10 miles before we saw a potential campsite and stopped. The police were totally confused by our camping intentions, but did not object. They awaited till we had our tents erected before they left us to return towards Baris. They did not reappear the next morning!