Initially I was a little dubious about a trip to the desert when it was suggested- how interesting can a lot of rocks be? It turned out to be the best thing we did in Egypt. As a group of four women- part of meryermtorun's group- Loly and Mahmoud were completely respectful and polite (not always the case with men in Egypt unfortunately!). As well as the fantastic food (I can vouch for the chicken), there was thrilling drives up the sand-dunes rivalling a roller-coaster ride, beautiful eerie scenery in the white desert, sparkling oasis springs and climbing towering monolithic stacks of black volcanic rocks... and of course, the wheeling stars at night. Yes, the desert can be uncomfortable and the first night was surprisingly cold but Loly and Mahmoud provided an incredibly comfortable and attentive service. We had far more 5 star treatment in the desert than at any of the hotels we stayed in! The price was the lowest any company quoted us and was within the budget of even us broke backpackers :) (£75 for three days and two nights). Sadly, due to the current political troubles in Egypt, people seem reluctant to go into the desert- strange considering it was by far safer than any big city- and the loss in tourism was clearly impacting on the oasis community. Selfishly, it did mean that we often had the desert entirely to ourselves, in stark contrast to the hordes of tourists we were fighting through in Luxor and Alexandria for example. On the last night, all singing around the camp-fire with Bedouin music ans delicious bonfire tea, I was regretting not booking five nights and throwing a camel trek into the bargain. Thanks again guys!
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