The Bahariya Oasis is a place five hours out of Cairo in the Western Desert of Egypt…. A place called “The Crystal Mountain” is standing on the edge.
Al Wahat to Bawiti
Along the Al Wahat road that begins in Cairo and heads south-west from the Giza plateau into Egyptian Sahara there is a stop that takes you back to another age. It is a town called Bawiti in the Bahariya Oasis. I am staying with the family of Islam Badry, a well-known and respected Bedouin local. Their family run the Badry Sahara Camp in Bahariya for a few generations now.
“This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought. ” – T. E. Lawrence
White Desert Fox
We leave by jeep safari Bahariya Oasis and head off to set up the Bedouin tent in the area named White Desert. This place is like being on the moon, driving through these strange white rock formations popping out the whiteness of the sand that is Sahara. The sun is setting in the west as we make it to our tent site. While our host, Ahmed promptly starts putting on the fire and unpacking the Jeep the rest of us rush to catch the sunset at a nearby rock formation known as ‘the chicken’. I take my boots off to feel the sand in my skin, enjoying the moment of engagement with earth. Muhammed, a friend from Cairo calls my attention back to a desert fox attempting to drag them of to his dwellings.
Sleeping under the stars
The feeling is universal, after a nice fire prepared meal, a drink and that momentarily lie-down relax back into star gazing position. And then you realize the grand schemes of the heavens. The geometry of the stars appear.
I guess words are no measure compared to nature’s linguistic communicative abilities. As we prepare to crash in on the carpet floor Bedouin tent adjoining the Jeep, the crew remind of the tales of the dzini of the desert night. A fit setting for a night rest before the morning hike to The Crystal Mountain.