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.
We all moved behind a rug-shelter set-up against the 4WD; as our driver had anticipated the night weather change.
It died down after 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 organize 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.