Monday, April 16, 2007

As the moon comes up . . .
I had the Easter in solitude, together with the nature . . . The desert and a camel.
I had my little dog with me . . .

I got my camel at a place called Bahareya and went into the White desert, crossing it to come to an oasis named Farafrah.The White desert is actually limestone, (like chalk) and so soft and vulnerable so it occurred to me strange that the formations of “mountains’ and “sculptures” could be present
 for thousands of years.
Camels are very beautiful, proud animals. I rode the camel for 4 – 5 hour every day. “Floating” across the desert. As you ride through the desert, looking at the nature-made “sculptures” , it is as if you can feel the presence of the spirits from agent time and vaguely see the “people” in the “sculptures”.
Then, the second wonder appear . . . I have to go peeing. I go behind a “sculpture” and do my business, and stand up again . . . What !!!! ????

I literally started to tremble. The water made a hole in the limestone . . . The limestone actually melted like chalk, and dissolved . . . and looking down the hole, I felt as if I was looking down in the ball-room of the “Underworld.” It was hollow!!!Under a tiny shell of limestone the desert was hollow!How many meter down it goes before it got solid again I don’t know, but two lines of thoughts flushed my brain.
~ How strong is this tiny layer of chalk? (That melt by only a little amount of pee) Can it suddenly crack up, if it comes a row of heavy jeeps?
~ With all the weather changing in the world today . . . if it starts to rain in the desert, it will literally melt away. It will become a totally change of the face of nature.
Not only that . . . But when it also started to rain during the night I must say, I had my worries, but luckily it was only a few drops. But the sky was heavy clouded and the thought of the changing of the weather around the globe was very present.

I slept under open sky, only with my sleeping-bag. When the sun goes down around 7pm, it really becomes dark and I thought: “This is how it was before electricity came to town.”
For an hour or so, you can not see the hand in front of you, so I went into my sleeping-bag and fell asleep. After a while I woke by a strong light. I got confused . . . I peeped out and . . . there . . . the whole desert was lit up. I could see miles ahead. . . . from the light . . . of the moon.
It was then I realized how disturbing the electric light is. Because of the electric light around the world today, the light from the moon appear faint, but when electricity is not present, the moon-light is like a small sun.
A desert-fox came close to the camp and both I and my dog got mesmerized by the beautiful animal so far out in the desert. As breakfast was made, also a bird came to our camp. So tame so it run between my legs and on the back of my dog to catch flies. It looked like a wagtail, but it was pure yellow.

Coming half way to my destination, I met the new world tourists. At evening camp, I was passed, by a caravan . . . of 10 . . . . Jeeps.
Speeding, whirling up the sand, honking and screaming. Heads out the window, one on the roof, radio on full power, waving their hands to me. I gave a faint smile and waved back, happy as they disappeared in the horizon.
I had just fallen asleep, when I was wakened in a sudden. I sat up in a split of a second and looked around. “What the Hell???”In a distance the tourists had made their camp. Now after dark, they had put up spotlights and disco-lights that sent moving light around the sky. Loud disco- music raped the desert. They had car-race and were running around screaming. It was clear that they were more than drunk. Some had sex in the open air, some climbed on top of a “statue” tried to made something like belly-dance . . .

When we arrived Farafrah, I had one day there before my return back to Cairo.
In Farafrah there is some “hot-springs”, another wonder of the nature, I soon should recall in my mind.

I visited a beautiful botanic garden and you can literally feel how the air is fresher and easier to breath as you walk around the palms.

Being there, you can not leave before you had visited the fantastic art-museun of Badr Abd El Moghny, and of course I had to visit the camel farm where my camel originally belongs.

I took bus back to Cairo. On the way I stopped at the “Crystal Mountain”. At distance, it doesn’t look anything special, but when you go up to the mountain and climb it, you can see that it sparkles of million of crystals.
I also had a stop at the “Black Desert”. It was then I had my second “mind-trip”.
Discovering that the desert is totally black . . . . because of . . . . lava!!!???Where do the lava comes from? It lays as a tiny layer on top of the yellow sand. As if someone has spiced the desert with pepper.
It is a lot of pyramid like “mountains” where the top of the mountain is covered by heavy lava-stones, and the lava-stones become smaller as it reaches the foot of the mountain and turn into sand-sized crumbles at the bottom where the wind spread it out.
I climbed one of the mountains . . . it didn’t look like a volcano on the top. But was it/has it actually been a volcano, in earlier time? If so . . . Then the whole area of the Black Desert is/has been an “Volcanic country”, because it is an area of the size of Belgium. At that time it would have been totally impossible to live here, because the volcanic mountains were close to each other.
And . . . How far is it down to heat?? It can impossible be that far, because it is the heat from underground that makes the hot-springs.
Can this area suddenly blow out again, as a volcanic area???


Lexcen said...

A very interesting travel tale.
I've always dreamed about traveling in exotic and remote locations.

Hammer said...

What an adventure! the way you described it was perfect. I didn't know egypt had volcanoes. I'll have to read up on them.

Glad you had a nice holiday and thank you for sharing it with us.

MrsJoseGoldbloom said...

Great story Kirsten. I wish I could have been with you it sounds absolutely beautiful.

Glad to have you back.

L>T said...

Kirsten, that was lovely. I didn't realize the desert had Volcanoes either.

Gosh, I'd love to be able to have some solitude & camp out in the desert...

jin said...

That was a lovely trip through the desert (minus the loud party people), thanks for sharing!

Ahhh....your avatar (profile picture)you are radiant! It IS you on the cover of your book; I always wondered.

Thanks so much for putting my link up! :-D The chocolate cake & pink rose suits your blog.

jin said...

Forgot to say your puppy is soooo CUTE! :-D

Jeannie said...

Sounds like an amazing time! I doubt I will ever get the chance to try it myself so thanks for sharing.

Dino aka Katy said...

oh wow pretty photos

Mark said...

Very cool!

Lee Ann said...

Wow, that is amazing! That would be so incredible to ride a camel in the desert and lie beneath the moon. The pictures are wonderful. Thank you for sharing that!

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

Thanks for the comments, all of you

curmudgeon said...

Welcome back!
It sounds like you had a great time.

KB said...

Man, what an awesome post Kirsten! I felt like I was there and wish I had been!!! All the pics are great and the way you wrote was perfect. That sculpture was incredible!

Pity about the drunk people - but it's their loss, not yours really.

Thanks for a lovely start to my have a good one =)

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

curmudgeon & kb: thank you for your comment

Sweeti said...

This was very interesting to read, I'd like to do something like that one day.