Location: Aqua Sun Hotel, Fahara, Middle of the White Desert
Miles travelled: 46 miles (N27 04.835 E27 55.361)
Weather: 34ºC – Sunny, freezing at night!
Today we mostly listened to: 101 Classical hits
So we awoke this morning at around 6 to the sound of nothing – wonderful after the constant beeping noise of Cairo. A breakfast of porridge and tea followed and we began to pack up the tent around 8. As we were doing so we noticed some camels in the distance heading towards us. As they got closer we noticed they had some people in tow – so guessed it was a safari. Turned out to be a lovely French couple who stopped to say hello and admire Monty. We got the standard response we get everywhere – ‘yes but it’s not a Land Cruiser’ – bugger.
We drove off around 9 to do a little exploring around the tracks off the main paths – got lost a couple of times and just when you start to get that sinking feeling of ‘I think we may be lost in the middle of the Western Desert in Egypt’, we managed to find some tracks again and all was well. it reminded me a lot of off-piste skiing – you’re not supposed to follow tracks to certain doom, but everybody does – nice to know if you’re going to fall down a crevasse, someone else did it before you.
After a morning in the desert we were in need of a hot bath. We decided to head to the Aqua Sun hotel in the Farafra Oasis for a dip in the hot springs there. We wouldn’t normally go to stay at a hotel when we’re able to camp but we’d been offered a free night in this place and it seemed a shame to waste it! The hotel is owned by a chap named Nessim (look him up on google – he is famous). We met him at the Land Rover garage. He races cars across the desert and has many World Records to his name. When we met him he was preparing for another challenge of crossing the desert from Siwa to Abu Simbel in 17 hours – thats an average speed of around 70 mph – on sand! Anyway, he’s a lovely chap and gave us a note that said in Arabic ‘look after these people and let them stay here free’ – a handy little note to have!
An afternoon relaxing in the hot springs (aka – a concrete pool of sulphurous water gushing from a pipe) and reading was lovely and apart from the small disappointment of no beer with our lunch or dinner, we have enjoyed our stay here – thanks Nessim and good luck with the next challenge.
Oh and one other thing – we had a mouse in our room this evening. Ric said it was cute because it looked up at him on its hind paws and had a white stomach – just like like disney mouse that was always ‘Going West’ – what was his name again? Anyway I didn’t agree and had a little bit of a ‘Lucinda’ reaction and jumped on the toilet. It’s still in this room somewhere!