Day 7 …no shower. Ouch. It’s not so bad, its a dry heat. Yeah, right, a dry, searing, heat in a part of the world that hasn’t seen a drop of rain in almost eighteen months, resulting in a dry searing heat albeit with some cloud cover caused by the foot of bull-dust stirred up every time you take a step or drive an inch. If your into the dust/dirt ball grunge kind of look though, it’s kind of cool. You need some shade, just do a little dance. No problem, a cloud of dust to block out the sun like a canvas unbrella. Continue reading →
The next morning we wake to an uncomfortable chill in the air and the rising sun. It’s amazing how cold it feels at night relative to the heat of the day, with the temperature difference last night dropping 70° F: 120° during the day to 50° during the night. Looks like we had some foxes in the camp last night, which is becoming a common occurrence during the last month. As the sun rises so does the heat, and within an hour of waking the temperature has climbed at least 20° or 30°. A quick breakfast, pack up, and we’re off for another day of sand and sun.
We skirt the dune of the night before, I wave goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Scorpion, the kids are probably off to school by now. This will be day five without a shower or bath. It’s not so bad, it’s a dry heat. Ha.
The sun is slowly sinking, the temperature getting almost bearable after a day of unrelenting heat. I can almost take a full breath again without having to worry about burning my tongue on the desert air. Every minute and every inch the sun sinks, the temperature goes down a degree to match. It was an exhilarating first day of driving down the Nile from Wadi Halfa and I think we’re already at day four without a shower. We start looking for a spot to camp, ha, “looking” really not being the right word, but more like choosing an area out of a million perfect campsite areas. We just head left for a few minutes, figuring the further we get from the Nile the better we’ll be. Around a mountain we run into a sand flat that must be five, maybe ten, miles across, head to the middle, and park on the flat. Surrounded by black mountains, tipped here and there with dunes carried by the winds like reversed waterfalls of caramel moving up the cracks of the black rock, this place is truly amazing. Continue reading →
…and so we went. Out of Wadi Halfa into the Sahara. Illegally actually, but not really, but kind of, seeing as we were given permission to enter the country by the customs officials, but with one stipulation – that we weren’t allowed to enter the country until we came back to Wadi Halfa the next morning to get “officially” processed, at which point it would be official, but no more real, but I guess less illegal, all the while knowing that these guys just wanted to finish their day, go home, and smoke a hookah. Understandable. That’s what I would do. Continue reading →
Bigger than the United States. More color than a box of Crayola’s.
A nighttime sky like you’ve never seen. Daytime heat like you’ve never felt.
The sun is not called the sun here. I call it the blazing ball of fiery hell.
…spend a few months under it, you probably will too.
It rises, and you feel it …and I mean feel it. It’s so hot that you can almost hear it.
It falls, and so does the temperature.
The desert, it’s almost alive. It moves. It changes. It slides, it slithers.
What was there one day is gone the next.
What wasn’t there last night is here now.
You camp in a flat plain one night and wake up in the morning between dunes of sand.
You wake up to multiple sets of animal tracks around your door.
You hear sounds you’ve never heard. See the sky like you’ve never seen.
People, cultures and tribes you never knew existed.
In the sky at night, nebulas and stars that you didn’t know one could see.
There are a countless number of other things also. The small things that combine to make it what it is.
The scorpions, the fenec foxes scampering around camp at night.
Turning the corner, only to run smack into the side of an ancient pyramid, a palm fringed oasis, a group of AK wielding rebels, a family of nomads. The Tuareg …ahhh, the Tuareg.
Maybe the toughest bunch of people I’ve ever seen. A very appropriate people for the place.
It may not be the sandiest, the hottest, the lowest or the …whatever.
But it definitely is “The” Desert of Deserts.
Below is a second in the life of it…