It was another long day on the road. We had an… early start, just for something new, and hopped on the bus. Ten hours later, after passing some pretty amazing Mediterranean coastline, we arrived in the Oasis town of Siwa. First impression was that it was a pretty small and barren town, but delightfully, first impressions aren’t always right.
We first headed up to the site of the old town, which gave great views of the area. It was amazing to see how much of the area the water took up. We were up the top, just as the sun was setting. Ahhh, holiday!
We then went out for dinner in what would become our regular, followed by some sheesha at a local coffee house. This coffee house was equipped with a real coffee machine, much to the delight of some of my fellow travellers. But dismay fell upon them when they found out that it didn’t work, and was there merely for show. What is that all about! You shouldn’t mess with people who are craving for a caffeine hit…
Today we got up…early (seeing the pattern yet?) to go for a bike
ride. It was good fun. While riding we got to see the sites of the area. First we went to the Mountain of the Dead. This was upon a hill and had, basically, a heap of tombs dug into it.
We then headed off again to The Oracle. This site was famous for its powers and had Alexander The Great visit it.
When leaving, my chain fell off for the first time. Fun. We finally got the chain back on and it was a down hill ride from there for a while. But my bike had no brakes, so this added to the adventure. Luckily I wore shoe with a good sole that day. As we rode on to the next site, my chain fell off twice more. Piece of shit bike! It was here that Mohamed swapped bike with me. The change was amazing. Not only was this bike able to keep its chain on, it also had fully operational brakes! Look out!
Our final stop on the bikes was at Cleopatra’s Bath. This is filled by a mineral spring and was the perfect temperature. I could have stayed in it all day quite easily. Then
it was back into the bikes and back to Siwa. Poor Mohamed took a little longer with my old bike, because of that cured chain kept falling off. It was a long walk back.
After lunch I did some shopping around Siwa with some of the girls from the trip. We quite enjoyed shopping in Siwa. They were very hospitable, and there was a more of a relaxed feel to anywhere else in Egypt.
After the shop, it was out to the dunes to go sand boarding, and visit the hot and cold springs. This was done in a 4x4, and was a lot of fun! Our first stop was the hot spring. This was like a bath. It also had a high sulphur content, which liked to stick to sunscreen. It looked like I had a lovely orange fake tan. Nice.
Then it was on to sand boarding, and this was great. I stuck to sitting down, but only went twice, as it was such a painful hike to get back up the dune, while carrying the heavy board. I did manage to get the most distance though. All those years as a kid going down
hills on pieces of tin finally came in handy.
When we finished here we moved to the cold spring. And this was cold! It was pretty relaxing in there, until the old foot cramp set in.
Time to hit the dunes again and head back to Siwa. Some of the drops down were amazing and it was surprising that we didn’t tip. Our driver was a legend and it was excellent fun.
The next day was an early start to head into the Western Desert. Our destination was Baharia. This drive took pretty much all day, as there were so many checkpoints we had to go through. There were cute puppies at one of the stops, but it was a bit sad, as there were two small ones who probably won’t make it.
We arrived in time to have showers and then head down stairs for dinner. Dinner was followed by mint tea and sheesha again. Relaxing.
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