We set off early “5.30am” from the Western Desert town of El Farafra to get the sunrise over the white desert with all the amazing sand hewn shapes. The big red ball welcomes us to a landscape of wonder and beauty that later in the day would become a glaring furnace. The rocks were hard but like tailors-chalk so I could whiten my face as the billy boiled.
When I got to the next (there are lots) police check the first two bikes had got through (surprise tactics) but the police had three men and assorted drums and cones blocking the road for me. They all just stood and stared at my ghostly white face. “Haven’t you seen a white person before?” I asked and they fell about in laughter before taking down the number plate details and letting me proceed.
Then into the black desert and the decision that it was so early in the day that we should go all the way to Cairo, a big day of 560km, rather than having another evening in a beer and night-life free oasis town.
As we rode on we saw them ,,,,,, clouds the first for ages, fluffy and pretty and no doubt heralding the onset of a European winter.
Woke this morning in Cairo -Giza to be precise- it is cool and smoggy