Egypt Gallery ~ The Desert
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White Desert
May 15, 2002

One cannot visit Egypt without taking in the structures left from Pharonic times. Once that was out of the way though, we were able to get to the real meat of the matter - the desert. Living in a (very different) desert in Arizona we have come to love the arid regions of the planet. After all, they are clean, well lit and warm - I imagine heaven has those qualities too. So it was that we found ourselves on a three day "desert safari" through the western desert of Egypt.


White Desert
May 15, 2002

We camped in the sand dunes the first night and passed through the black desert to camp in the white desert on the second. It was the highlight of our trip in this ancient land.

May 15, 2002

A contemplative Nigel contemplates how much sand will be in his shorts after contemplating the sunrise on a sand dune. Say that three times fast!

May 14, 2002

That's right, dunes.

Breakfast at the White Desert Campsite
May 16, 2002

There were ten people on the trip all together. Two Koreans, four French, the driver the guide and us. We all pitched in to help at meal times, which is to say Mohammed and Muftah prepared the food and we ate it. Division of labor is the key to desert survival.


March 14, 2002

A large company drilled out in the middle of nowhere looking for natural gas and all they found was 'useless' water. They tapped the well so that the rare commuter that passes this way can fill up their water bottles.
Mohammed the driver opened up the spigot and let out a huge jet of water that would have been at home at a civil rights march. By the time he'd filled his flask a small lake had formed. This activity has left the desert floor in this vicinity with a uniquely textured skin.


Muftah contemplates the black desert
May 15, 2002

A lot of contemplation takes place in the desert. Muftah was our guide on the "Desert Safari" or at least he would have been if he had know anything at all about where we were. His only real skill was a tentative grasp of English so that he could tell us what Mohammed the driver was grumbling about. He was rather quiet, perhaps a little depressed, for most of the trip but when we hiked up a hill in the black desert he came to life. Huge rocks started cascading down the mountain as Muftah gleefully denuded the peak of anything he could pick up with his bare hands. Here he is selecting his next projectile.


Cross cultural bonding
May 15, 2002

Well of course I joined in! That's what rocks are for! Boys throw stones, it's one of the things we do.

May 16, 2002

Camping in the desert in Egypt is nothing short of magical. After the meal, tea is served in tiny glasses. Always two rounds. The first is bitter black loaded with sugar. The second is made with the same leaves but with fresh mint added. Then it is off to the thick blankets and sand mattresses to gaze at the stars until you fall asleep.


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