We had booked our trip into the desert to start at 8:00 so it was yet another early start. After breakfast, we all piled into the 4x4 and we were off - except the driver went to a block of flats whilst we all sat puzzled - he was picking his breakfast up!
The first stop was the white desert. This was one of the highlights of the trip. The landscape was one none of us had seen anything like before. The area was once all limestone and this had been worn down to form amazing shapes - mushrooms, rabbits, chickens, faces (you did need a bit of imagination). The driver was a 22 year old Bedouin and he seemed to be having fun racing through the sandy parts and getting the car moving sideways. The rest of us where hanging on for dear life. After lots of photo stops which gave us a chance to wander about in the desert, we stopped at a spring which was the archetypal oasis - surrounded by desert with a little pool and some palm trees.
After this it was back into the car to see the crystal mountain (not very impressive - just some quartz stones) and the black desert. The latter looked like a series of extinct volcanoes covered in black rock and dust. We arrived at the next oasis at about 2:00. This was totally underwhelming - it was a dusty town surrounded by some palm groves. We decided to stay one night so set about checking the options out. We were planning to go to Fayoum the next day- an Oasis about 100km south of Cairo. All the information said this was safe. The people in the streets we meet are so pleased that Mubarak has gone but all seemed a little apprehensive - no one knows what the next few weeks will bring.
Whilst the ladies spent the afternoon relaxing with Judi singing to the children at the hotel, we went off to find a bus to take us out of here. Taking the public bus took us to Giza, a suburb of Cairo, not what we wanted to do. We found a bus driver who would take us in his minibus all the way for a reasonable price and he assured us we would not go into Giza. With this sorted, we joined the ladies. Ken decided a celebration was called for so he went out and a found a place that sold beer - if the Egyptian are celebrating we should join in as well.