Bahariya and the White Desert

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Africa » Egypt » Western Desert » Baharia
October 23rd 2008
Published: September 11th 2012
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23rd Oct: After waking up in the middle of the night, slight exaggeration but that's what it felt like. We headed upstairs to the roof terrace to have breakfast. I think we were due to have breakfast abot half an hour before we departed and we sat there and waited and waited and waited... Wahid, our guide turned up and asked us about breakfast, when we said nobody had turned up to cook it, he wewnt and woke the young lad who was meant to be coking for us and we rushed our breakfast down, so that we could be on our way on time. The group had been split into two smaller groups, as we were traveling by 4x4s and the drive out of Siwa was beautiful.

We crossed the oasis, which was really pretty. We did have a couple of problems though, as the other 4x4 broke down a couple of times, meaning all the guys had to get out and push it start it again. We drove across the desert all day. We stopped for lunch under the shade of a big rock. The two drivers from the 4x4s knocked up an amazing lunch for us. I learned how to dice cucumbers properly from these guys. We also saw the remains of a plane in the desert and there wasn't much left. I think that it one of my favourite pictures of the trip, with the driver sitting on the remains of the plane.

We continued to drive across the desert in the afternoon and ended up in the small oasis town, where we would spend the night. It was a small town with not much going on. I think there was only about two streets. The hotel had a lovely rooftop garden, so we chilled there for a while, taking in the views. Can't remember what we did for dinner that night, think we will of had an early night though.

24th Oct: Up and out, we piled into the 4x4s to head of to the white desert. Our first stop was to pick up our armed police escort, who would accompany us on the trip. We first stopped off at the black desert (?) I think, it was all black obviously and quite rocky if I remember correctly. After a few photos and a comical moment from Jamie. "Do you think the policeman will let me pose with his guy, if I give him some money?" NO, Jamie! We got back into the 4x4s and headed off. We stopped at a desert cafe thingy with a stream running through it, so we sat and had a drink with our feet in the stream. This gave the drivers a chance to go to the mosque, as it was Friday and they needed to go and pray. When they got back we went to a shop and rented a couple of shisha pipes, secretly for later that night.

The drive through the desert was amazing and when we got to the white desert it felt like we had landed on another planet in outer space. The landscape was like nothing I had ever seen before. Truly amazing. The lanscape was formed due to wind erosion. We have a good few photo opportunities and then we pulled up to the spot that would be our home for the night. We built a campfire and arranged mats on the ground sheltered on two sides by the 4x4s to serve as our camp for the night.

We had a lovely dinner and then announced it was shisha time, however Jamie in the other 4x4 was gutted that there was no desert shop and therefore we couldn't have any. So we told Jamie to go on a walk to some of the other 4x4s that were parked up a small distance away and ask if they had any shisha we could have. Whilst Jamie was away we set up the shisha pipe and the look on his face was golden when he arrived back. We had a lovely last evening altogether, smoking shisha, dancing and singing round the campfire.

25th Oct: A long travel day today. We woke early to watch the sunrise, had some brekky and got packed up to leave. It was quite cool when we woke up. We went back in the 4x4s to town and then dropped our police escort back off in town and we transfered to a mini bus for the journey back to Cairo. The journey was long and uneventful. I think we had a bit of free time at the hotel in Bahariya, so that we could could freshen up after our night in the desert.

Once we were in back in Cairo it was all systems

go. Jodie had to rush off that evening to catch her flight to Kenya, so me and Mel went to grab her some kebabs for dinner. Said our goodbyes and then met up with the rest of the group, we went off in search of buying some shisha pipes. I bought one and some tobacco to go with it. However it has never been used. We went for our final dinner at the place we went to on our first night. It was really nice, but you know when you're so hungry that you fell full after about 2 mouthfuls, that was what happened, so I ended up leaving most of my food, gutted.

26th Oct: I was up really early this morning to take a taxi to the airport. Said bye to Mel, lucky thing could have a lie-in. The airport was pretty boring, not a lot to do. Flight to London was fine. Security and passport control were a bit of a nightmare, there are just so many people. It doesn't help that I am generally impatient, too. Can't believe WH Smiths in the airport don't sell birthday cards. Me poor mother will have to do without. Also didn't think much of terminal 5, as if you don't want to shop and spend money there's nothing to do. Next flight was fine also and I was back home before you knew it and dreading heading back to work the next day.

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