Oct 21st 2012  

 Travel diaries

Egypt Camp 2012

It’s amazing how much you can fit into a day when you leave your watch at home. A heavy overnight dew left everything pretty damp but still beats my experience of camping on wet weekeds in Wales. Breakfast of hot beans and bread then break camp and hit the sand. Today’s plan was to visit the valley of the whales – far out amongst weathered rocks and interminable sand are the fossilised remains of huge sea creatures.

As it is a protected area no cars are allowed which meas the only way to see it is to hike. Out of the cars and boots on. There was some appreciation of this as an occasion to compare kit and Girl Guide readiness (don’t knock it!). Oh yes this shirt is impregnated with mosquito repellent – really? – mm yes, woven into the fabric don’t you know. Marvellous – well these headscarves provide high levels of UV protection and I have a spare, anyone?

Egypt Camp 2012

Where we woke up!

Wrapping the head was de rigeur and those who came last time have clearly been practising with a mirror (despite protestations to the contrary). Note to self – bring discreet mirror next time to secure look of Lawrence of Arabia not DH Lawrence. Set off on hot trek loaded with water botttles and emergency supplies (all right a packet of biscuits). The route is 7km on a marked path with shade shelters at regular fossil stops.


Egypt Camp 2012

Fossils everywhere – but where did the seashells come from?


It is truly incongruous to see a whale’s head surrounded by miles of sand (and not on a beach). As we neared the end a cloud came over the sun an event so unusual that it was photographed. Suprising just how much it dropped the temperature as we came frolicking down the home straight.

Collapsed picinc in shade followed by hot sweet tea. The afternoon is spent in and out of the cars. – each driver picks his own route but they keep an eye on each other so if anyone gets stuck the others can come and watch the fun. After a particularly nasty bump our car developed a lopsided suspension. To compensate both sides were lowered – and those of us in the back were bobbing about on leafsprings. Finally made our way across a pebble-dashed desert to THE ROAD. Thinking that was the end of our troubles it was a bit dismaying to learn that it was still a 3 hour drive to the hotel. After a rather good dinner we are all reclining gracefully on cushions by a firepit discussing why you can’t watch certain films if you have a particular aversion to one of the actors. Full day of training tomorrow – phew!