Wadi Al Hitan means (Valley of the Whales)

I have always wanted to camp in the desert beneath a star littered sky for as long as I can remember. My wish finally came true last October, when a friend of mine proposed that we go camping. When he suggested it to me I was leaping for joy!
I was packed and ready days before we were due to leave.

Our guides in to the desert were two Bedouin men, the best guides you could ever possibly have. Bedouins are desert dwellers and know every sand dune and cave there is to know about. They were fabulous; they wouldn’t let us assist in constructing the wind breaker, the fire or cooking the night meal. The night we happened to be camping there was a full moon. The moon lit the desert up and made the ground look like the surface of the moon. The star littered night sky was better than I could have ever imagined.
Tucked safely and snug in my sleeping bag, in the desert under the sky, in total seclusion and in silence was so peaceful. I think that it was the best night’s sleep I have ever had. I only slept 4 hours but I woke feeling refreshed. There were two reason why I woke up so early, I had forgotten to turn off the 5am alarm that I have set for getting up every day (Yeah,….I know!!, I’m just grateful I didn’t wake anyone up), the second thing that woke me was dawn breaking. I had seen many sunrises by the sea, but none could ever compare to that! It was watching a documentary in the making.

The area we camped at was a few hours drive away from the UNESCO World Heritage site. The reason it is protected is because there are thousands of whale and other ocean fossils scattered on the ground of the Valley. Since the valley became protected in 2005, a clear and easy trail has been marked out and the information center offers a map of the Valley for you to be able to view all the fossil remains. The fossil remains of whales have been roped off, so that visitors don’t step on them or attempt to steal them.  (It’s a great place to take students for a Geography field trip).

The fossils were very well intact and fascinating to look at but what really blew my mind was the incredible landscape and rock formations that had been carved and smoothed out by the extinct sea that had once flowed through the valley over hundreds of years ago.
To tour the Valley you don’t have to do it on foot, there are camels available and I believe that you can bike it too, just as long as you stay on the path.
There are a few sheltered areas along the path way that have been constructed for visitors to rest in. It’s a good thing there are too because the temperatures out in the desert are scorching hot and resting in the shade of the rest area helps to bring down your core temperature whilst you sit and enjoy the view.
While you sit and take in the scenery your lungs fill up with clean air, the pollution that had been clogging your mind suddenly evaporates and your thoughts are clearer than they have ever been. Your mind feels open and your thoughts move freely without a single worry or interruption.

For October the weather was hotter than usual and thankfully I had my Bedouin scarf that I tied around my head to protect my self from getting sun stroke and I had a huge bottle of water, which was bone dry by the time we got back to our guides who had been busy preparing our lunch while we had been trekking in the desert for hours. (Bless them!)
We were absolutely parched and famished by the time we had made it back to them.

From there we made our way back to Cairo, but along the way we stopped an oasis. As we were driving toward it we thought it was just another mirage because we had seen many of them along the way, but when our four by four came to a halt and we got out, we couldn’t believe that in the middle of the desert there was a huge lake with turquoise blue sparkling water. It was phenomenal, breathtaking and captivating at the same time. From there we went to a waterfall in the middle of the desert!!! It isn’t man made, it’s all natural! It was no where near as spectacular as the Oasis but it was interesting to see.

When we entered the city limits I could feel my mind cloud again and the camping trip like the sea that had once flowed through the valley became a distant memory. 
This year 2010-2011, I would really like to be able to go camping in the White Desert when there is a full moon. People who have been said that if the moon is full, the light from the moon reflected on to the sand turns it blue.

To read more about Wadi Al Hitan click on the link below
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadi_Al-Hitan

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