Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
London, England, United Kingdom
June 11, 2010
November 29, 2005
This was our last major activity we did in Egypt before heading home. It was also one of the most serene experiences I've ever had. Without a doubt, the Sahara desert is one of the cruelest and rawest environments on this planet. There are stories of entire armies being sucked in by the desert on their campaigns, never to be heard from again. And yet, this desert is also one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, though I would probably change my mind if I had to actually travel through it. But the two days we spent there were the climax of our trip.
Just to the west of Siwa, the Great Western Desert begins and spans the breadth of the African continent almost out to the Atlantic Ocean. In our travel there, we just barely entered into its domain, but we were immediately surrounded by its vastness, its emptiness, and its grandeur. We drove in a Land Cruiser and went up and down sand dunes at least 100 feet high. We swam in an oasis surrounded by date palms and hibiscus plants that were used to make the popular karkaday tea. Even though we were no more than 1 hour away from Siwa, there were absolutely no signs of civilization anywhere: no other people, vehicles, electrical poles, nothing. As evening fell and we set up our camp, the stars came out like nothing I have ever seen before, even in the north Arctic, where the air is clear and cold. The wind blew sand into everything I had either on my person or in my bag and equipment. The night also grew chilly, and I found myself creeping further into my sleeping bag as I slept under the stars.
We were up with the dawn and tore down our camp to make it back to Siwa for our return to Cairo. I wish I could have stayed in the desert for another couple of days. This is definitely something I will need to do again. Without a doubt, this is an activity you should allow yourself time to do.
From journal The Sands of Time