Chasing sunrise and open spaces

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Africa » Egypt » Western Desert » Dakhla Oasis
March 13th 2009
Published: November 11th 2009
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I have been literally floating through a blissful desert space. The ocean of sand is so open it has cleansed my mind completely. After leaving Cairo and the hustle behind we travelled further into a new found chilledness. The Jeep transporting us with miles into a stress free zone.

After much sighing and gazing across the vastness, the Black Desert turned to White. A fairy like fantasy beyong my expectations and imaginings. White on white limestone and sand. A merengue and honeycomb space akin to a gigantic pavlova. The wind exhaled my mood. As the sky turned pink and the silence of the space turned to night we set up camp. I helped prepare th Bedouin meal under the cloak of stars - the almost full moon illuminating my mind. Such peacefulness I haven't felt for too long. Surreal and beautiful - we sat in the freezing night around the heat of the fire and imagined staying for a long time. Sleeping out with only my sleeping bag to separate me from the earth was a gorgeous way to welcome the desert with wide open arms. I can't begin to explain how much I love this environment.

The following day waking at 5am to soft light I meditatively sat in the complete quiet listening to my thoughts. I witnessed the glowing sun slowly illuminate the day - the drastic beauty of the luna like landscape. A perfect environment for my thoughts - clean and stark - fresh space the ultimate remedy. Pure happiness is infectious in this group and we are all completly surrendering to quiet afternoon kips, the healthy food, and somehow I have a completely non party crew - I'm completely happy with this. We all feel like we are on a health retreat and have spent hours in knowing silence.

We passed through old towns born of the earth. Rising out of the ground like muddish mountains. Last night was spent post hot spring at a Bedouin camp around another fire - Egyptian drum, flute and harp accompanied by ancient songs. Lulling me to dream vividly. The moon was at my back - the sunset a pink ribbon against the green field, the green field a foreground to the endless sand.

It's also the full moon tonight. I woke to the prayer call and spent an hour walking through the fields as the morning light spread smiles from the village people into my walking world. I feel incredibly blessed and super aware. And this journey is only days old and I have far to go. After a sand dune slide in the morning and a swim in a local mineral well we are stopped at a local oasis town now. Soon we will be jumping on our camels to ride through sunset to our next outdoor camp site.......

..........Sunkissed faces and desert oasis. Purely happy smiles relaxing in the community they love - this is the Egypt of the Western Desert that I have just left reluctantly behind. I am now in the Nile Valley area of Luxor. The blinding uber green of the lush fields welcomes me. Donkeys pulling carts as the wheat and vegetables are packed for market. Children running along the road to wave. The papier mache landscape of the West at our back.

After a truly perfect birthday spent fireside, post camel saunter - I watched the golden full moon rise majestically from the far horizon. Cooking lentil soup, vegetables and rice with the Bedouins has been an added pleasure. The luna glow woke me throughout the night - almost teasing me to not sleep too much - slumber wasted on witnessing the changing stars. The timing of this journey has been sublime. The super cold nights forcing me into my sleeping bag early and rising as the pink glow starts kissing my face. I've been so high on this environment and clearly it's infectious amongst us all.

As we fled along the ribbon of tar that slices through the endless sand we have been mesmerised by the constant scene. The desert tricks you, it lulls you -calling you to explore. At the same time being so isolated feels completely safe and wraps around you like a huge camel blanket.

I have watched the sunrise each morning like a child - each day the scene has been different, sometimes rocky, or mountains to climb and watch from a great height as the day unfolds. This nature has seeped into my head and will remain.

We are now in a more modern place with traffic once again and just about to spend the afternoon wandering around the largest Temple in Egypt - Karnak! Tomorrow morning we are getting up at 4am to board a huge hot air baloon that will take us high above the open air antiquities of the Nile. I'm excited and sedate all rolled into one mellow ball.

I love this country!


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