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rover roaming (rose)

EGYPT | Wednesday, 1 December 2010 | Views [841] | Comments [1]

For six days, eight of us drove south from Cairo, along the Bahariya oasis road, turning off after 200km into the desert. Like, properly into the desert. Like, not another living soul to be seen desert. (Well, for the most part.) Like, dunes and rocky crevasses and craggy escarpments and digging each others' wheels out of deep sand and using sand-ladders desert. Real fun stuff.

It was amazing: one of the best things I've ever done. And that's now saying something, as I no longer say that about everything, becoming as I am more discerning and picky as I rapidly approach 30.

We drove like maniacs over sand and rocks, through an area affectionately known as 'The Molehills' (the first 50m rocky molehills I'd ever seen) and down a sudden steep 3km decline, ominously known as 'The Descent', down which I very nearly rolled our adopted car. We visited Roman forts, frozen in time by the dry climate, the Valley of the Whales. Honestly, whale bones, in the desert. Brilliant.

It was a dream come true for Land Rover geeks, as H is fast becoming; even I now not only recognise but appreciate the beauty of the sound of a V8 engine revving at 4000rpm. What has happened to me?! Four LRs carried us (plus firewood, tents, chairs, tables, gourmet food, endless beers, and eight bottles of Scotch - this was no ordinary camping trip) from Cairo and back again. Our own beloved LR was safely tucked up back in Dahab; she wouldn't have been able to keep up with the speeds this lot go! We all switched around but generally this was the set-up:

  • Bella the white Defender 110 300TDI - driven mostly by Canadian Darrell, the mastermind of this particular expedition, and Mohammed the mechanic. These being Land Rovers, his impressive skills were called on a few times per day.
  • Leeroy the beige 109 300TDI - driven entirely by Sue, Darrell's Alabama wife and creator of the nightly culinary delights, accompanied by her best pal Andy, a teacher, historian, art collector, interior designer.  
  • Defender 110 2.8TGV - driven mostly by the lovable Sami the Finn and Richard from Land Rover Monthly magazine, flown over for the trip from a freezing UK.
  • Lyle the dark green V8 90 - driven mostly by us! Well, by H, but I did take the wheel occasionally and enjoyed the 'technical sections' over jagged rocks but couldn't keep up with the big boys on the fast sand sections.

Mostly, I felt tiny and inconsequential - as long periods of time in the vastness of nature have a habit of making you feel - but also, contradictorily, strangely empowered by the whole experience.

I'm sure H will want to elaborate on this rather short and sketchy description of a wonderful week - plus you will be able to read all about it in the February 2011 edition of Land Rover Monthly magazine, out from the 2nd week of January in all good newsagents. We'll email a reminder!

One photo here to whet your appetite. Many more to follow soon.



Wot can i say!Very disappointed that Oddy didnt make the desert and play with the big boyz!!Its when ya ragging about in sand you find that the weight of the 101 becomes a slight disadvantage! - mind you they were the first vehicle to cross the empty quarter nr Algeria and traverse east to west of the sahara.

Anyhow hope all is groovy and that yore not planning coming back anytime soon! Where do you plan to spend xmas? Dont forget the decorations for Oddy otherwise im gonna be disappointed again!

Take care!XX

  Alby Dec 11, 2010 9:52 PM

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