After our mountain top adventure we took a few days to rest at the red sea and enjoy the facilities at the Hilton hotel.
Then it was on to the part of the trip I was the most concerned about….the desert!! In all my research visiting the white and black desert cropped up time and time again but when researching the accommodation and facilities I became a little sceptical that those who had enjoyed this particular adventure may have sand in their eyes.
Our local tour operator had contacted the Egyptian tour operator (Travel Art) when I raised my concerns and this is the response from the Managing Director Mahmoud:
“Regarding Bahariya Hotel Unfortunately there is No 5* Hotels in Bahariya Oasis maximum Grade 3* & the Best of the Hotels in Bahariya is PALM VALLEY HOTEL Which we deal with many Years my Friend for all our Clients & never have any Problem – The Life of the Desert is an Great Adventure please let them Try it.”
Kinda makes it hard to say no to the adventure doesn’t it. So I went ahead and booked it and boy am I glad I did. I loved every moment of our trip but this was just the spectacular.
We Cairo and was met by the awesome Mostafa and our driver Yasser. The traffic in Cairo was ummmm interesting and it took us hours to get to the meeting point with Shahy. I was so excited that she would be joining us on this adventure. We started the 360km drive to Bahariya Oasis.
People the road got long and hot and eventually there is not much more to see than yet another grain of sand…I’m very grateful for my ipad (with its kindle app) and my ipod.
But as the kilometres passed by the landscape started to change there was pops of green. Sand dunes gave way to fertile palm groves and dust and sand were replaced by refreshing springs.
Arriving at the Palm Valley Hotel all I could think of was a shower. Mostafa checked us in and showed us to our room. Look, it was pretty basic but it was clean and had everything we needed so it was perfect. Meg and I took some time to walk around and take some photos of the hotel and then it was time to hit the showers and have a nap.
Just before dinner the electricity went out which was not good news as I knew both Meg and I were starving. We met Yasser, Mostafa and Shahy on the patio and sat chatting and catching up. I loved talking to these amazing people and getting to know them a little better. The manager of the hotel (I think) told Mostafa that the food was ready but that we could wait for the lights to come back on or we could get all romantic with candles. We chose the candle option.
The food was traditional and so so good. It tasted divine and perhaps it was extra special since I could not really see what I was eating. The lights did come on as we were enjoying fresh fruit for dessert. We had chosen to sit with Yasser, Mostafa and Shahy at their table and even though we could not understand everything being said it was such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that it did not matter. Shahy and Mostafa translated some of the conversation and got to laugh and chat along.
Since we were starting our desert adventure early the next morning Meg and I made our way back to our room after dinner but an sleep proved to be difficult as we were attacked by an army of mozzies. Next time I am taking Doom with me…
Here are some pics of the hotel: