Off to find out what an Oasis really looks like!

Bawiti Travel Blog

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The home of my Bedouin guide for the desert
So I reached Cairo in the morning and went straight to S’s house to freshen up and stuff. I was scheduled to leave for the desert the next day. And the plan was to go into town to buy the tickets for my bus ride a day in advance.

I hadn’t really traveled in Cairo by myself. So I was a little reluctant to go on my maiden solo non-taxi trip in the local bus. But I knew I had to do it. And so, I started to plan it all out. And then out of the blue, S’s friend P calls and tells me that he is heading downtown with his friend and can give me a ride! Yay – maiden solo non-taxi trip postponed :D

I happily set off with these people and got my tickets for Bahariya.
Traditional food for lunch!!

The bus was to leave at 7 in the morning. So I had to be out of home at 5:30. Curse S to be living so far away from downtown!! :D .. So, another early morning for me. I was doing the Bahariya trip alone. And I wasn’t very comfortable with that. But I had tried to coax and cajole people into coming along with me – unsuccessfully. And I really did want to go see the desert. So, story of my life – solo trip!

S had told me that I would easily get a taxi to town even at that early hour. 5:30 in the morning was not a good time for that maiden solo non-taxi trip into town! But when there was no taxi to be seen after several minutes of waiting on the main road, it looked like things were not going to go quite as planned!! And so that is how Anupa made her maiden solo non-taxi trip to downtown Cairo :D

I got into what they call a dum-dum.
And then we're off
. that took me to the main circle.. From there a micro-bus took me into the heart of the city.

The bus to Bahariya was a fairly comfortable one. I was surprised, actually. I had expected a rickety sort of vehicle for the price that I was paying for a 6 hour journey. A long snooze later, I was at the town of Bawiti, where I was supposed to meet my guide for the desert.

Mahmoud belonged to the local Bedouin tribe and had lived in Bahariya all his life. He promised to make the desert safari as traditional and as close to the Bedouin culture as could be. And so, in the spirit of things, we decided to abandon the modern sleeping bags and tents and make a proper Bedouin camp! Mahmoud had already stocked up his 4X4 (as they call the vehicle) with all the necessary stuff.
To explore the desert!!
But before we hit the deserts, it was time for – yup, food! Lunch was some typical Bedouin food prepared by Mahmoud’s mother. And after a good meal, we hit the roads!

I have never been to a desert before. Actually, I have. The high desert of Santa Fe. But that doesn’t really count. It wasn’t a “real” desert you see! “Real” deserts have sand dunes and are completely devoid of vegetation! (Yes, that’s my definition!). Anyways, so, I was really looking forward to seeing some of this real desert. Mahmoud assured me that we would be taking the paths less traveled. Which meant that we would hardly be on the road, or on the tracks marked out for safaris. We were going into no man’s land! Its surprising that I wasn’t really worried in the beginning. Maybe because the desert hadn’t started to look like a “real” desert, you know! :D
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The home of my Bedouin guide for t…
The home of my Bedouin guide for …
Traditional food for lunch!!
Traditional food for lunch!!
And then were off
And then we're off
To explore the desert!!
To explore the desert!!
photo by: anupa_rk