Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 8 – Safaga, Egypt - The Bedouin Experience

Bedouins know if a tree grows in the desert there is an underground 
water source and it will be a good place to make a camp

Travel Stats: 1,998 nautical miles from Barcelona, Spain for a total of 7,454 nautical miles since leaving Galveston, Texas.

We arrived in port about 7am this morning and the cruisers were ready to split in a million different directions. Some were off to scuba dive in the Red Sea, in what I hear are some of the most beautiful waters for diving in the world. It will be fun to get their reports when they return.

The majority of the cruisers were bound for the long drive to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor to get more of ancient Egypt and probably another dose of the local hustlers selling their wares.

I was not one bit disappointed with the Bedouin Experience. We were probably about thirty or thirty-five cruisers in all, five people to a car, a land rover type jeep that could make it easily through the desert once we left the highway to drive to the Bedouin camp. Sure it was bumpy and rocking and rolling ride but really not that bad. Especially since we had our tour guide in our jeep and it was fun to chat with him along the way.

 When we arrived at camp we sat in separate sections along with our guide in comfortable chairs that the Bedouins had hewn from good solid wood. Our guide give us an over view of the culture and how they lived in this desert with their goats, chickens and camels.

They are such a beautiful people. Maybe it is their simple ways, or just maybe it is because they chose to live out in the middle of nowhere and not be bothered with Egypt’s traditional government. If there is a problem in the village the head of the tribe will hear the case and hand down the punishment if need be. Or maybe it is just their big broad smiles and their beautiful white teeth that captivate.

 Grandmother in the center with her daughters and grandchild

The women make little bracelets to sell to the visitors as a way of earning a little income and of course they allow the tours to invade their life for a few hours every so often, which I am sure provides a nice income for them. While our guide talked to us of the Bedouin culture we were serve delicious hot tea in wonderful glass cups by a handsome Bedouin man carrying the many fragile cups deftly on a tin tray.

 Grandma offering the baby a taste of the candy I gave the children

I had bought and packed some candies from home with these little Bedouin children in mind. Just some simple life savors and those little sweet tart like candies. They were so cute when given these sweet treats. Before I just took the liberty to had out candy to the kids I asked our tour guide to seek the mother’s permission if it was Ok. The children were delighted and so was I.

 A sample of a Bedouin bedroom

 This is a Bedouin Mosque

 Children playing under the shade of a tree

 A father with his children looking over the treats they were offered

Everyone works at something, even when needed some of the children help with the camel rides. Imagine my surprise after an older Bedouin man helped me onto the camel and a beautiful child had the reins to keep the camel in control for my little ride. I had no doubt that she knew what she was doing; it was me that I wondered about. Talk about fear and trepidation! Oy, I wondered if I had fully lost my mind finally in my 75th year.

My camel driver

A bit later we walked to an area where a woman showed how they made their flat bread over a wood fire, pretty good bread at that. Then we were told about the various medicines the Bedouins make from flowers and plants that grow in the area. They had magical potions to cure everything from a headache to disturbance of the bowels and even something for high blood pressure.

1 comment:

  1. OMD, that was great. Of the three tour destinations, you chose the right one, Annie. What a great memory to treasure. Love the camel shot. Good stuff!