What do you expect to see when you visit a desert? Could that possibly be white sand? Most likely not. But this is precisely what you will see at the phenomenal White Desert in Egypt. It boasts an amazing chalk-white landscape dotted with unique rock formations. My sister and I visited the place in 2012, employing the service of Memphis Tours. There were just five of us: my sister and I, our guide, the cook and the driver. We left Cairo as early as 4am. The journey was long, but we got there just as the sun was about to set. Seeing the White Desert gave me that unbelievable feeling. It was ‘weird’ in a magical way. The desert was so huge, the horizons so distant. Spending a night there was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Camping in the middle of the desert, far far away from civilizations. When the night fell, darkness blanketed the desert as if someone had turned off all the lights.
But up there, in the beautiful night skies, the moon and the stars were mercifully shining their light on us.
Some of the rock formations appeared quite spooky as they reflected the glow from the faint light of the moon and the stars. The night was cold and, when no one was talking, so silent that the crackling sounds of the wood fire and the whooshing sounds of the eternal wind seemed too loud to our ears. After dinner, we went for a walk, barefoot, feeling the damp cool sand between our toes. We were not heading to a particular point. We just kept walking, appreciating the desert wonders and freedom endowed to us. No words were exchanged as if we silently understood each other about not tainting the magnificent moment with a human voice.
At one point, we just sat on a huge boulder and gazed at the stars. The silence was almost deafening. The only sound heard was the sound of the swirling desert wind, caressing us like a faithful lover….what a wonderful world, I thought, savoring each moment of the night. That night, in the White Desert, was definitely a night to remember- all my life long.