November 10th, 2005 – by: skippyed
Sleeping soundly in the desert
Today was our last full day on the desert circuit. I awoke just before sunrise, climbed to the top of the ridge, sat in the freezing cold and awaited the sun to come up. It was worth it, the sunrise was just lovely. After breakfast of the same boiled eggs, bread jam and laughing cow cheese oh joy! We headed back to the Bedouin camp for a hot shower and to pack ready for the next leg of our desert adventure. Back on the road, we passed through more police checkpoints which increased the further south we went but it made us feel safe, it also helped that our policeman friend was travelling with us. Our first stop was Bagawat Necropolis, one of the oldest Christian cemeteries in Egypt.
It was unlike traditional burial grounds that we are used to, these were tombs. We went inside the chapel of peace which had paintings on its ceiling from the Old Testament, you could just make out Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark. We were escorted around the grounds as for some reason we weren't allowed to wonder around by ourselves, probably for safety reasons. It was a very interesting place, the ruins were amazing. Near the ruins we had lunch in a nice reed covered hut with some very persistent cats who wanted to share in our feast! As we continued to drive the desert scenery didn’t change much it was flat sand so it was an opportunity to get some sleep. Saleh was in the car with us and all he wanted to do was play Uno! Our next stop was Kharga Oasis town but before that we stopped to have a glimpse at the Temple of Hibis but unfortunately we couldn't go in because it was being dismantled and moved to higher ground.
Desert surrounding our camp site
In the town itself we stopped to pick up some snacks and drinks and for some reason people found a need to stare, probably because they don't get many western visitors in this part of the world. We continued on to Baris Oasis where we would be spending our last night camping under the stars with our Bedouin friends. The road sign for Baris was funny, we had to stop to get a photo, it read Paris instead of Baris! So were we in France or Egypt! The road from Kharga south was not well travelled so there were even more police roadblocks and we even had police follow us until we turned off the road into the desert to head to our camp. The area we camped was very pretty and there were some great outlooks from nearby ridges across the desert plains.
Sunrise in the Al Kharga
My mummy tummy was still persistent and I felt very run down and tired, I spent quite a bit of time trekking to/from the nearby dunes! We had our last night of fun and music around the campfirebefore heading to bed. After we all went to bed we had a visitor, a desert fox; Vaughan, Kimo and Mimo were sleeping around the campfire and had put some food down to entice the fox closer so Vaughan could get some good photos.
Sunrise in the Al Kharga