Friday 19 February 2010: Yasser
It was a very hot day right from the start. Sunrise was at 6:30 and we didn't need to get up until 7:30, so we were quite glad of the long lie which meant we set off a little later than usual to make our way to the White Desert which is a specific area of the Western Desert and is so named because there is so much white limestone around.
The whole area is a mass of limestone monoliths which have been eroded into different shapes, mainly mushroom and very flat table like shapes, but all so dazzingly white against the deep blue sky.
It is a protected area and camping is allowed only in specific areas, so we were lucky to find a spot far removed from any other tourists.
Now that we are near a tarmac road and not crossing the desert on tracks, we have lost our army escort Yasser. We left him at the last check point before the road. He didn't have a gun like the police man, but he did have a laptop which he charged on one of the car's cigarette lighter and he played us Egyptian music which wasn't really appreciated.
He taught me how to tie an Arab headscarf - it's just a pity I don't have dark eyes, dark eyebrows and visible cheekbones to set the ensemble off to best advantage. I feel more Russian babushka than anything else.