Cath, lost in the deserts of Meroë…
Sitting about 200 km north-east of Khartoum, near the desert station of Shendi. The pyramids of Meroë are nothing less than spectacular. Not nearly as large as the pyramids of Giza, nor as highly “touted”, I do have to say that I would take these pyramids any day of the week.
The pyramids of Giza (Egypt) are nice, but the pyramids of Meroë are just icing on the cake of a spectacular setting and experience. They have “Indiana Jones” factor …as I like to say. Sitting in the middle of the Sahara, eight days drive from Wadi Halfa, free of tourists and empty except for the few wandering camelmen, surrounded by blowing dunes of sand and a few outcroppings of rock up above. You could almost be lost in time here. The only place I have ever seen “waterfalls” made of sand. A few caves up in the hills, outside of which are scattered old bullet casings. The slave markets of Shendi still going strong. Pull up a seat, start a fire, set up your campsite sort of area. No hassle, no hawkers, no tourists. You could wander for days and not see another tourist. Thats my kind of setting for a pyramid.
As for this shot. Technically, nothing remotely good, but it really summed up the experience for me. Just wandering around the dunes without anyone else in sight. Buildings from another age splattered throughout the dunes. Sun going down. Sand blowing. What’s that sound? …the sound of silence. One of my favorite photos from Meroë.
Honestly, I don’t think much is known about the site, but here is a little history. Ironically the history of Sudan, as well as the environment, has kept this site fairly unknown to the average person. It’s a bit tough to get too You may have to deal with the random rebel group, and there isn’t a hotel for, well, probably hundreds of miles, but well worth the effort. Bring a tent, and a four-wheel drive. Have a picnic, spend the night. Just don’t be surprised if Indiana wanders in…
December 19, 2007