We wake up in the morning to breakfast of hot tea, bread and jam. Off we go in the 4 WD to Bahariya Oasis about a 3 hour drive.
We are still in the Great Sahara Desert but the landscapes differ as we travel from the white limestone statues to the landscape scattered with black volcanic rocks (mostly basalt) spewed out over hundreds of miles. Starting out as tiny pebbles of what looks like black sand to large boulders. The tops of mountains have this eerie black topping of rippled rocks as if they were placed there with great care and precision. This area is called the Black Desert. We even get to see an area that has ancient flowers that were cover with this violent molten rock and totally preserved forever as black flower rocks. Most of the intact flowers have been taken by people over the centuries but many stems, flower buds, blooms and seed pods remain. We don't take a souvenir as Angie said in Hawaii it is bad luck to take laver from the country, so we apply the same superstition to Egypt
One of the other fascinating stops on our journey
is Crystal mountain. This is a large mound of solid crystals of all sizes, shapes and colors from clear to earth tone hues, that are visible and who knows what lies beneath our feet. We resist the urge to pull larger crystals from the rock and are content to take a few small crystals that are lying on the ground. We already have a small collection of rocks.
Checkpoints are a way of life here in Egypt. There seems to be a checkpoint on every turn and at times seems like a waste of time, but here in the desert it can also be a lifesaver as there is little to no traffic and being off road adds to the danger of breakdowns and other possibilities so if we are not at the next checkpoint within a reasonable time at least the authorities are alerted to our possibly distress. However this never happens as all is well on the Western Desert!!
The driving ends today at the city of Bawiti and the Bahariya Oasis. This has been an important agricultural area since ancient times. Famous today for the dates and olives. Bawiti is the main village in the
oasis and has about 20,000 inhabitants. The town is surrounded by palm groves and all live in mud brick houses.
We stay at another nice hotel with fridge and air conditioning. Although we have been blessed with cooler weather in the low 30s except for at Abu Simbel. We find that our fridge is not plugged in and then discover that the cord does not have a plug on the end, only three wires sticking out. We joking say that we can just plug the wires into the socket. Anyway, we advise reception and they send a fellow up to investigate. He plugs the exposed wires into the wall and the fridge is working. We stay away from the wires and our drinks are cold. So cold that can of beer freezes and we have slushy.
We decided take a walk around the town. We walk a few hundred metres and realise there isn't much to see. Very dry, dusty and aged. We turn around and walk back to the hotel. We see a donkey grazing on the footpath. We move to the side of the road to get out of the way of a man with donkey
and cart and then a truck drives past with a load of camels sitting in the back.
We have dinner at the hotel and then with four spoons & bowls we share a tub of chocolate & vanilla ice cream & chocolate cookies with Steph and Sam. A great end to the day.
We downloaded all Angie's photos onto the laptop. With great surprise and relief we found all 800 of Angie's photos from Morocco.
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