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Published: February 24th 2008
Old Islamic city in the background
After camping in the white desert, we took the bus a few hours southwest to another oasis called Dakhla. apparantly there has only been one day of rain in the last 14 years, one of the many interesting facts our guide "desert fox" told us. we usually never have guides or sign up for tours, one of the many luxuries (or not) you have to opt out on when travelling on a budget. but you cant stay at anwar hotel ( which is where we ended up ) with out desert fox planning a day out for you. and he's practiced.
it started with a place in dakhla where an ancient islamic village still remains. it doesnt have many modern day uses, mainly just tourist attraction and history. there were many beautiful corridors, doors, widows, tiny spaces and rooms to wander through, all the while imagining what life would have looked like. the most interesting for me was the ancient flour press and olive press. for bobby it was the wooden lintils above door ways with the koran scribe.
we then went to a hotspring, which turned out to be the best one so far. it was just the
over 1000yrs old
right temperature to hang out in for a while. there's black sand on the bottom which desert fox recommended rubbing all over your body, he claims some theriputic reason, i think it was just sand that exfoliated, whatever though. oh and he jumped in the spring with us with his tightie whities.
next was off to lunch, with our driver yosef to his family's home. i don't think this is where they normally bring people, but yosef was the kindest guy, and i think he somehow knew we would appreciate the gesture to the fullest. his family lives in a village, we ate and had tea in the living room. the lunch consisted of typical bedouin food, rice, chicken soup, olives, pickled lemon, tomatoe/potatoe stew, bread, and flavored rice wrapped in grape leaves. trust me , it tastes better than it sounds, maybe partly b/c its a rare experiance to be invited into locals homes, and eat homemade food. there was sooo much food, bobby and i ate and ate and ate as much as we could, only to hear apologies from the mom and wife that if they knew we were coming in advance, they would have made
THIS is "desert fox"
our "guide" next to a tomb of a shiek
more!!! earlier in the day i was asking yosef and desert fox where i could buy some olives, and after lunch the mom came out with a giant jar for me to take , as well as a jar of the pickled lemon ( which apparantly takes two months to ferement properly to be ready to be eaten ) . so amazing, this family lived very simply , but gave with all they had to give to us. it was a time that will never be forgotton!
after lunch we went to see some more old parts of the town, and some mud brick villages, our pictures were accidently erased but these places look better in real life anyways. as we were walking around the village no.2 we opened a door to see two donkeys in a stable, bobby asked if he could ride one, and they all excitedly agreed to it. he just went up and down the alley, but it was hilarious, his feet nearly touched the ground! these mud brick villages were designed so that when you are inside the home, its dark and cool, like natural air-conditioning in the dry desert. there are some people
old lintil, with koran wrting on it
who still live there, mainly because they are really poor, or homeless. i think its a pretty good social program they have going, at least you dont have to live on the streets, you can live in a abandoned village which is virtually in the same condition as it was originally. i thought it was beautiful. better than our dirty hotel !
we were pretty eager to get out of the oasis after some great and not so great experiances. you felt a little trapped there, its hard to get around independantly, and you are pretty far from the main cities. we left for luxor to see some more pharonic jibber jabber
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