Wednesday 17 February 2010: Camp Dinner
Today,we loaded the roof racks on 4 desert cruisers with all our luggage, bedding and cooking equipment and set off with four drivers and a new military man as escort into the Western Desert. We really never discovered if the policeman who had been with us with his automatic strapped to his side was for our protection or in case we deceided to abscond.
We have the necessary permission to travel and there were various police checkpoints to negotiate en route. They counted us through with much paper work.
Lunch was a kneel on the rug affair in the Areg Oasis with a tasty lunch prepared by the drivers.
While they did all the work, we explored some cave houses used in ancient times.
The whole area is below sea level and was the site of an ancient ocean which meant we were walking on a bed of fossilised sea animals and looking up at sandstone cliffs where once people had lived amongst palm trees, but which was now totally abandonned.
The afternoon saw a bit of excitement when one of the cars broke down. No AA or RAC here so we had to leave it with its passengers while the rest of us drove on to the camp site, off loaded the gear and one of the drivers returned to fetch the abandonned. A new car was sent out from Siwa.
And so to choose a sleeping place among the dunes and lay out our sleeeping bags - no tents, so that we could lie and gaze at a heaven full of stars...... And what stars.... Like nothing you see anywhere near any towns or cities in the UK.