I became interested in a trip to the Egyptian desert after talking to our holiday rep but got the best package for the best price after befriending a different local. A few days earlier, I learnt that there would always be someone that will sell you something better and cheaper... And this is the proof!
The trip started with a fairly bumpy, but very fun quad bike ride into the mountainous desert (probably the highlight of the whole week). We made a quick stop half way into the journey at what is known as 'Echo Valley' where a larger group of smaller groups met to hear a fairly impressive echo of names and phrases that were shouted after a countdown from three. It was also the perfect time to rehydrate and readjust the provided scarfs that stopped you from inhaling any dust. The guides did well at telling us where we were and what we were doing in both English and Russian. However, Echo Valley is supposed to be quite historical, so it might've been interesting to be told a thing or two about it's history. Below is a photo from Echo Valley - a seven shot panorama!
At the next stop, we were taken to an area that was called the 'Oasis' where we were given water. Here, we were also taken on a quick camel ride and introduced to three other Egyptian men living in the area. The language barrier made things a little awkward at times but they were friendly and entertaining. Because of the awkwardness, I think I missed out on a fantastic photo so, in the future, I will have to just go for it!
After a third short ride on the quad bikes, we arrived at our final stop - a "traditional Bedouin tent." There were amazing fairy lights all up the side of a mountain and a delicious buffet waiting for us. Also, we were treated to a magic show that wowed us and a traditional dance performance that made us dizzy. Plus, we were offered hibiscus tea and shisha pipes. In small groups we were shown outside of the Bedouin area where there stood a very knowledgeable man with a telescope. One by one, were able to look through the telescope at the craters and details on the Moon. It was definitely interesting but more impressive to some others than me. What I found incredible was being able to see Saturn and it's ring. This trip appealed to me because I hoped the desert area would be less light polluted than Sharm El Shiekh. This is because I wanted to get some good photos of the night sky, which wouldn't have really been possible at the hotel. It was a full moon so the sky was a little hazy but I'm happy with the results. The moon lit the mountains well and the mountains made for a foreground like nothing I'll be photographing again in the near future.