When last with you, I chronicled my brush with food poisoning that was the result of a bacteria-rich egg sandwich. So weak was I on Thursday, November 3, 2011, that I could barely load episodes of Parks and Recreation as I lay curled on my bed in a fetal position, choking down mugs of vegetable broth.
At any rate, when I awoke the next day at the ripe hour of 7:30 am with only a dull pain in my empty stomach, my last retching completed at 1: 30 am in the morning, I decided I was well enough to go on an off-road-camping-desert-expedition-exploration-adventure centered around the desperate hunt for the remains of mythological sea creatures. Even though we didn’t find the Snorkoloptus, the excursion was still amazing, especially after the desert madness set in.
4 companions, 4 wheels, 4 days-worth of body filth, 4 different camping locations, and a whole lot of mutual annoyance while rambling through the beautiful, ethereal shapes of the White Desert made for a trip that I hope to rub in the faces of my great-grandchildren as we’re floating above a wasted earth in our spher0ships. “Before we destroyed the earth, kids, there was a lot of cool stuff there, like the White Desert in Egypt, something you’ll never get to see. We also ate peanut butter instead of this space paste. And no one was ever sad.”
Located in western Egypt, the White Desert is known for its beautiful sculptures carved by the wind, sand, and rain out of the chalk formed from the remnants of the sea creature skeletons, since the entire area used to be at the bottom of the ocean. As we tumbled around the desert, off and occasionally on-roading in the jeep, we saw breathtaking cliffs, moon-like landscapes, rolling sand dunes, mystical oases, and occasional groups of leathery European tourists, by far the least attractive things in the desert.
The colors themselves deserve an entire blogpost. Nay, an entire blog. Each sunset and sunrise was a feast for the eyes, a palette of ever changing shades that would make a MAC eyeshadow case blush. And at night, our world was lit up by the milky rays of a waxing moon as we tried to run away from our moon shadows and one of us wouldn’t stop singing that song by Cat Stevens. As I look back now on our last night there, I can see myself, a tiny figure, lying in a valley surrounded by forlorn, other-worldly cliffs, the moon illuminating the earth in its pale light while the ghosts of extinct sea creatures float over me. It was the closest I’ll ever get to time, space, and deep ocean travel.
Note: I remembered to charge my battery and bring my camera, but I forgot to put my charged battery back into my camera. Therefore, all pictures are compliments of a friend who was on the trip. See his flickr site here.