Well that was a holiday which involved a lot of sitting around, a topic I'll get into in another post. We did do a couple of day trips out of our tourist ghetto though, including a Jeep sarfari into the desert east of Hurghada.
This meant a lot of time being banged around the back of a Land Cruiser, on bench seats without seatbelts, as our driver attempted to emulate the Dakar Rally with the other sarfari jeeps tearing across the desert. Note to self: In planning for my own entry into the Dakar in a suped up Bulli, must remember to pack a REALLY supportive bra.
The desert was deceptively flat (it looked that way, but my boobs felt every damn bump) for a few kilometres, before rising into jagged hills. These were strange up close: not very large and each hill stood alone. It wasn't a continous line that we had to climb over, instead we just had to swerve around them.
The aim of the trip was a visit to a Bedouin camp. About 30 people lived there, apparently having thrown in the drug and arms running trade which supported them in the past, for the equally lucrative business of towing sunburned tourists around on camels.
I had the village elder guiding my camel, at an incredibly sedate pace which had the others lap us twice before we turned and headed for home. Not that I'm complaining, the man walked with a stick and I have a feeling that walkingslowlyatthepaceofdeath is the most comfortable way of experiencing camel. It was surprisingly easy to mount and dismount, even with the surliest creature in the pack. Funniest Home Videos makes it look a lot tougher than it actually is.
We ate flatbread cooked by a widow and her two year old daughter, who sat there staring silently at us with big brown eyes, rolling small amounts of dough back and forth between her hands. We had dinner heated over a fire of camel dung and watched a dozen young men sing and clap and dance. It was a strange, disjointed experience of silent people with whom we couldn't communicate, acting out the expected roles for the foreigner's baksheesh. And all of us felt so guilty, so filthy rich and obnoxiously voyeuristic that we gave them what we had with us. Took our piece of flatbread and chewed in silent shame.