The view from our room & balcony
We are taking a mini van ride for about 8 hours from Luxor to Dakhla in the Egyptian Sahara Desert. The landscape for the most part is that of desert and sand / rock mountains. There are more checkpoints then there are houses out here. There was one village that we stopped to have lunch. Our group leader said there weren't any nice cafes to have lunch so we could have sandwiches. He went and got the lunch. Perhaps we may not have eaten anything if we had seen the preparation and there are so many flies. Anyway, we had eggplant pita and falafel pita. The only choices and quite tasty and no side effects.
One of the stops along the way is to a burial site dating back to the roman times. The place is called El Mozawaka and it is a burial mound with tombs openings all over the small mountain. Some of the graves are open and one in particular is well preserved with mummified remains of several people. Other graves have partial remains and some just piles of bones. Some are empty but for trash.
We arrive in Dakhla and stay at
With Wendy & Ray
a lovely 1950's style hotel. The staff are lovely and the shower works an absolute treat. We have air conditioning and a fridge.
Dinner was at a local restaurant, there is saw dust spread all over the floor and the fellow out front having his dinner is competing with the flies. We head inside and hope the flies don't follow. It isn't too bad. We had grilled chicken-cooked over hot coals, soup, rice, tomato, cucumber, pepper salad and of course, bread. We realized the sawdust is probably to catch the fat dripping from the chicken as it is carried across the room in the wire rack.
We have learnt not to ask questions, and to ignore the safe? food practices used here. We carry Imodium tablets in our bags all the time. Our guide recommends where to eat and we know that they wouldn't let us consume anything that they know could be a risk.
We buy some snack at the grocery store and head back to the hotel to work on our blog. The blog has had some problems and we were blocked from it for a time. But things are back on line again.
Right man with fuel pump in hand
Left man with lit cigarette in hand
Bus on right with us on it
Heading to Farafra and 4 wheeling / 4WD in the White Desert about and 8 hour drive. The White Desert is called so because of the limestone found in this area. Vast wind eroded monuments are scattered throughput the area. It is fun to try and see what shapes they form. Some are obvious like the mushroom and others are up to the individuals imagination. The 4 wheeling is done in Land Rovers and the ride is rough over mostly poor roads and some is done on the desert itself. We are in an area that borders Libya in the west and Sudan in the south obviously dangerous so we have an armed guard travel with us to the White Desert and at night he sleeps right outside our open sleeping area.
Our drivers set up a 3 walled area with large material to give us shade during the day and some cover at night but the top is open so we can see the stars at night but the sky is partly cloudy so limited star gazing.
Our biggest excitement is at dinner when our meal is served, the desert foxes also smell
our food. This is the only wild animal in the desert and maybe in all of Egypt. Two of them show up and only one approaches us and it is very skittish but does come in fairly close to grab the chicken that we toss to it. Pretty neat!!
The sand is hard and it gets pretty cool at night so the blankets we are given come in handy.
The other visitors that we encounter are the dung / scarab beetles, some large as a 50 cent piece and other smaller of varying sizes. Fran gave Angie a scare by telling her that a beetle is at her side at dinner time. Wow, can that girl move. We hope that they will not be crawling on us during the night, however none of us are awoken from our sleep from them. Good Thing!!
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