Many people ask me, ‘Why do you want to go to the desert again? You have been there many times!”
There is no one answer that can convey the draw the desert has on me. Yes, it is harsh, it is extreme. There is no water for bathing, food and drink minimal, the track is rough, the timing not quite right, it is Thanksgiving…and here I am going to the desert…again!
So why? If the situation in the Middle East remained as it was pre-2011, this trip would not have such urgency. But I believe, such chances to experience the deep Sahara are slipping away, if not an impossibility for desert enthusiasts.
But it is really this: To live in the moment with no distractions. It is the peace, the solitude, the grandeur and vastness. It is the freedom, the wind, stars, sky, rocks, sun, heat, cold in all their purity. For one more time…to be a dune.
Day 1 – Early departure from Cairo to Bahariyha Oasis as we proceed to Farafrah Oasis for lunch and continue till we reach the area of Abu Mounqar area and overnight in the dunes .
Day 2 – After breakfast we start passing the Ammonite Scarp – Great Sand Sea - Reignfield area - Abu Ballas area , overnight in camp .Day 3 – Depart the camp site to start another great day to Abu Ballas - Mud Lions – Craters area and some nice dune sites on our route till we stop for camping .
Day 4 – After breakfast we will make a visit to the Dolphin rock – stone circles – WW2 sites, Wadi Wassa - and head to Wadi Ahkdar and overnight inside the wadi .
Day 5 – Visiting Wadi Ahkdar - Wadi Furaq - West side of the Gilf el-Kabir, Magic Land, Abu Ras for camping .
Day 6 – Tour through the area of Wadi Sora for the rock art sites – heading towards Aqaba pass to start driving up the Gilf Plateau to proceed until Wadi Assib (Assib means treacherous) and camp .
Day 7 – From the top of the plateau, we enjoy a sunset on the last day at the great dunes of Wadi Assib, we continue till we reach Wadi Abdel Malek and drive through the Wadi and overnight .
Day 8-9-10-11 We cross the Great Sand Sea Desert passing by Wadi Quba - Silica Glass Area. These spectacular sand dunes stretch from north to south with its huge and great formations.
Day 12 – We enter the area of El Ubayid Valley where lime stone formations of the White Desert begin. Then our journey ends as we reach Bahariyha Oasis and proceed to Cairo .