Our day in Dakhla didn't start well - there was no water in the room. Ken had the same problem and went down stairs to find the manager who said he would fix the problem but we could use the showers in other rooms as not all rooms had the problem - just take your pick! Eventually our bathroom had hot water so we could do our ablutions.
We had hired a taxi to take us around the oasis as the sights were rather far flung. The guide book gave the impression that we could hire bicycles and cycle around orange groves, the reality was a very dusty town with no vegetation and very poor housing, not an orange in sight. The first stop was the old town of Al Qasr, This dated back to the 1300s and was built totally of mud with very narrow alleyways so the whole place stayed very cool. We went up the minaret to see the view - I was worried that the stairs would give way as at some points we were on very old, very thin pieces of wood. The view over the oasis was good.
Our next stop was another oasis close to the edge of the desert. This was much more like the oasis's we had pictured. Here we met a German lady who had a house and wintered here. She invited us up to her terrace for marvellous views over the mountains and desert. She also told us what happened at Al Kharga - apparently the police had killed 4 people after an argument and the local population had stormed the police station. The police had then all run away - as had the police chief who was very unpopular.
From here we had a tour of the local springs - some hot and some bubbly - not very inspiring. We tried and failed to get lunch so decided to head out to the next oasis, Farafra. We negotiated for a minibus and set off across the desert. It was 300 km and the scenery was spectacular. At first it was very lush oasis, then rocky desert and then the typical sand desert complete with dunes.
We arrived at Farafra and were staying at a supposedly upmarket hotel We attempted to book a 4x4 trip into the white desert with them - and were quoted silly prices. We also found out that getting out of here was not easy - the day bus was not running as it could not get into Cairo due to the curfew.
Over diner we received texts to say that Murbark had gone. We did not know what would happen next, After dinner we set off to try and find a minibus driver to take us to Bahariya. The place was rather quiet - not what we expected. We found the tourist police. I went with one of them to find a minibus driver and eventually negotiated a price with him to take us to Bahariya. Ken in the meantime had gone for a coffee, got into a conversation with a driver of a 4x4 and had negotiated a deal with him to give us a tour of the deserts and a ride to Bahariya. We went for Kens deal and I had to make my apology to the poor minibus driver.