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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wadi el-Rayan - The Waterfall

Egypt has a large number of "protected areas" and National Parks.  It's unfortunate that they don't have some form of Senior Pass that they could use to promote more tourism.  Once we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and crossed Wadi el-Hitan off our itinerary for the day, we retreated to the asphalt road and returned to the waterfall of Wadi el-Rayan.  We have been here before but thought it was worth a second look.

When we were here in 2006, it was a cold and very windy day.  I did manage to take this picture of the restroom facilities, though, in spite of blowing sand.

I believe they have done some landscaping since that time and the facility looks much more appealing.

In addition, there is a very attractive visitor center which was locked.  An attendant soon appeared with keys to open it for us, however, and we had a look around at a number of exhibits which focus on ecology, water and the nearby fossilized whale bones.

Outside, the attention is all on the waterfall.  There are actually a couple of them.  This one is the larger.  It is not exactly Niagara Falls but it is a pleasant surprise considering the location.

Here is a picture of the lesser falls taken from 2006.

The reason that there is a waterfall out here in the desert is that it connects the two man-made lakes that were created to capture excess water flowing into Lake Qarun as a result of steadier flow of the Nile following the construction of the Aswan High Dam.  The story is told in the museum exhibits.

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