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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Into the Black Desert

Our camping destination was the White Desert, one of Egypt's most scenic areas. Once we left Bahariya, 180 miles southwest of Cairo, we would travel most of the 120 additional miles southwest to Farafra along a highway naturally known as the Bahariya-Farafra road.


This part of the route takes you along a paved highway until you see the correct small pile of stones stacked by the edge of the road.  Turn right and head out into the desert following the tracks of other four-wheelers!.

You might expect to be using a GPS at this point.  In fact, GPSs have only been legal in Egypt since last April.  We were using the "old technology" consisting of a local desert guide and a Bedouin driver.  Since we were Americans, we also had along an armed guard (there's no telling what the Libyans might be up to!)  With a trainee guide thrown in, this gave us six locals plus the four tourists in our group.  Put that plus food, water and other camping supplies into the two Land Crusisers and we had a pretty full load.

 

We soon arrived at the "black desert," a scenic area of volcanic basalt formations.

We stopped near one major outcroppings and hiked about a half-mile over a small pass and had a close-up look.



And we were met on the other side by the Land Cruisers.
 

1 comment:

Rob said...

Thanks for the post, Tom. We were right behind you by about a day. Although the surreal features of the white desert are fascinating, I also loved seeing the basalt formations such as the ones you posted. I feel like I am looking at unwritten history. Safe Journey!