White Desert Egypt

White Desert Egpt

About 2 weeks before we left Toronto, we read an article in Mountain Life Magazine about the White Desert in Egypt. It looked like a fascinating place and we decided that we have to go there. Our bike route however, didn’t go near the place because it is situated in the centre of the country. For sure this would be one expensive and long trip, so it was doubtful that we would make it there during the short time that we had before the race.

However, along Dahab Hostel who asked us if we would like to do a 3 day trip to the White Desert for a bargain price of 450e ($80) per person for 2 nights, 3 days, all meals and transfers included, camping in the White Desert, a visit to the hot springs and a 4X4 ride in the sand dunes that we won’t soon forget. How could we pass it up?

It turned out to be a great trip.

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We hopped on our coach for the 5 hour ride into the desert. I knew that Egypt was a dry country, but I didn’t realize just how much of it is desert. The entire country (so far) is sand, sand and more sand.white desert egypt

We made it to Bahariya by 2:30 in the afternoon, we were fed a traditional Bedouin meal of red sauce and potato, with rice, pita and sweet tea. Delicious. Then we were promptly off, right after the guys bought a Bedouin head dress. We travelled through the black desert and climbed a high peak overlooking the amazing desert vista. Black pebbles caused by erosion in the mountains covered the entire desert, turning it to an ominous dark shade. We carried on through a couple of security check points and once we passed through the second one, we instantly entered the white terrain that looked as if a blanket of snow had landed on the ground.

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White monoliths jutted out of the landscape, but nothing compared to our final destination…Our campsite was surrounded by the mostbeautiful white desert egypt amazing rock formations I have ever seen resembling mushrooms, camels and hawks. These pure white and smooth shapes were scattered throughout the area. We were surprised to see that when we touched the rock, it was actually chalk. We climbed atop one of the formations and watched the sun go down.

All this time, our guides were preparing dinner and putting our camp together. Once the sun had set, it was nice to have a warm fire to sit beside until dinner was served at our Bedouin style camp. All that was protecting us was 3 walls of material to block the wind, the front was open to the fire and our roofless shelter revealed the starry sky. Awesome.

We ate our red sauce and potato with rice plus the added bonus of a delicious fire roasted chicken But that was the end of the hospitality. Our guides were done with us, they sat by the fire drinking tea and smoking sheesha while we all sat around the table slowly chilling to the bone.

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Our Guide, White Desert

Our Guide, White Desert

More guides arrived and they had a grand old time drinking more tea and blocking us from the fire until finally we asked them for blankets so we could go to bed. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a bad sleep. Heavy blankets and sleeping bags kept us fairly warm until a nose, ear or hand popped out from underneath the covers, but to fall asleep under a clear desert sky while being entertained by shooting stars made it all worth while.

We all awoke cold and achy in the dark to witness the sun rise over the white stones. Beautiful.

After a quick breakfast, we packed up camp and made our way back to Bahariya, stopping at sights along the way and by mid-afternoon, we were off 4X4ing in the desert on our way to the hot springs. Our driver was insane, but a lot of fun. He had a brilliant smile and kind eyes and gave us a thrill as we raced through the dunes. At one point we became stuck on a steep incline and I was sure that we were going to roll. After what seemed like forever, he finally figured out his path, and we went tearing off again. The ride was long and full of excitement as people were tossed about and sometimes hitting their heads on the roof. I thought Peru was scary and we were strapped in to a dune buggy, this was crazy sitting in the back of a 4X4 with no seat belts. We made it safe and sound though, laughing from the adrenaline rush and ready to relax in the springs.

Our Jeep in the White Desert, Egypt

Our Jeep in the White Desert, Egypt

That however, was not an option. It makes me laugh to think that this is actually an attraction. A concrete vat with luke warm water running through pipes into a dirty pool. There was not a chance that any of us were going into that. Eww! Instead, we had some tea with the gatekeeper and ate some fresh dates, while one of the drivers fixed his front tire. Then it was back to the 4X4 stopping to climb a mountain, seeing some more sights and then home in time for dinner.

It is now 3 days later and we are back in Cairo, sipping beer on the rooftop patio again working at our free wireless internet in Dahab Hostel. Not bad for $6 a night.

Tomorrow we are off to several Plan Projects, bright and early. We can’t wait to show you the great work that they are doing as we travel down through Africa. Watch for our update tomorrow night.

The White Desert, Egypt

The White Desert, Egypt

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20 Comments

  1. Angie & Mike

    This all looks absolutely incredible guys! Mike and I are busting at the seams with jealousy!!!!!!! We can’t wait to see more gorgeous pictures and hear how the Plan project visits go!

  2. Mom & Dad

    Hi kids: your pics are incredible – Dave you could be a Bedouin – no problem. Sounds like a great ‘rush’ on the 4×4 – what an incredible experience you both are on – enjoy – looking forward to your pics from Plan Canada project.
    Love Mom & Dad
    (p.s. Dad is doing great)

  3. Lilian & Gilbert

    You guys rock! We are so envious of your adventures. Looking forward to more updates.

  4. Paula and Danny

    You two are incredible! Sounds like you saw a nicer part of Cairo than I did- don’t forget to try some of that sheesha while you there- hell, it is culture!

  5. Steve Buttery

    sounds amazing D’n'D! I gotta get out there and do more and see more. Thanks for being such an inspiration! Looking forward to more updates….

  6. Mitch

    Wow wow wow – I think I speak for everyone back home when I say how envious I am at your incredibly journey which has barely begun! Drink it all in and good luck with the cycling.

  7. Jim & Marlene Corbeil

    Dad and I are watching your adventure through your pictures and writtings. You and Dave are doing a great job. We are very proud of you both. Love Mom and Dad

  8. Rivet Daigre

    Hey Guys,
    Loved reading this post and remembering that spectacular trip we had with you. I am back in Switzerland starting classes. I look forward to keeping up with your progress and hope all is well. Good Luck!
    Rivet

  9. jdogsmit

    Yo!
    Im new here so just wanted to introduce myself.
    My name is Francis and im from Boston and… umm i love to smoke hookah and blow os.
    lol anyways.. Nice to meet you guys.

  10. SammyB

    Glad to hear from you guys, considering what I’ve read on your blog, I’d say you are doing fine. I’m sure Corbeil is hard to keep up to Dave… just bear down a bit… isn’t it great having friends to tease you? Especially for such a noble and heart filling cause.

    be safe,

    :o) SammyB

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  12. Darvin @ Discount Comforter Set

    I am so jealous! Traveling to Egypt (and many other places in Africa) is one of the few dream vacations I have yet to make. I’m sure I’ll get there one day, but I appreciate the wonderful descriptions and photos of the trip that you have shared. I can at least live vicariously through you for now…:-)

    Thanks again.
    .-= Darvin @ Discount Comforter Set´s last blog ..Clearance Bed in a Bag =-.

  13. Prince Hotels

    I have never even heard of the White Desert! It looks amazing, almost like a land of snow but with the Egyptian heat. You do seem to have the best times traveling around, I wish I could be part of that.
    .-= Prince Hotels´s last blog ..Prince Hotels =-.

  14. Alex Hall

    Glad to hear from you guys, considering what I’ve read on your blog, I’d say you are doing fine. I’m sure Corbeil is hard to keep up to Dave… just bear down a bit… isn’t it great having friends to tease you? Especially for such a noble and heart filling cause.

    Europe Travel

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  16. Low Cost Holidays

    It looks amazing. I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt and will have to do something about it this year. The white desert is certainly something different to see after the Pyramids etc.

    1. davendeb

      Yes, we Highly recommend the white desert. The town that is the staging point for the trip is even interesting. We did a dunebuggy excursion through the sand dunes and drove up to the top of a large canyon to overlook the desert. It was incredible.

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