Surreal art sculptures by desert winds. An art exhibition blurb could well use this by-line. However, this supreme landscape artist is Mother Nature. And her art is on show at the White Desert.
After settling down to gaze up at a million stars … a small sandstorm kicked-in – fine grit and dust and suddenly no stars or moon or weird sculptures – and we all moved behind a rug-shelter set-up against the 4WD earlier, as our driver had antipcipated the night weather change. It died down after about 2 hours – to a nice breeze, again. Then dawn woke me.
White Desert overnight trip – Travel Advice
- WHERE TO BOOK A TOUR: Unless you’re pushed for time, it’s cheaper to organise the trip once in Bawiti (Bahariya oasis) rather than in Cairo. There are number of operators – so I won’t single out any. You have some room in which to bargain (since they may over-inflate to begin with; the lowest I heard was 250 LE per person – within a group – excluding all park fees). Due to lack of tourists in 2013, I wouldn’t recommend travelling from the closer oasis of Farafra.
- WHAT IS INCLUDED: Transport = 4WD; dinner + breakfast, maybe lunch; mattresses, sleeping bag, blankets.
- WHAT ISN’T INCLUDED: Depends your tour but on mine the following were not included in the total price. National Park fee: $5 or 35 LE + 10 LE per night to stay there; bottled water (buy 2 or 3 – 1.5 liter bottles); a tip for the driver – which they expect (and mostly, deserve).
- THE STANDARD TRIP: You leave early afternoon, camp overnight, and return in the morning of the next day. You’ll stop on route for a couple of Black Desert vistas, the Crystal mountain, and see various highlights of the “old” + the “new” White Deserts.
Travels in Egypt – 2013