After stressful days in Cairo we were ready to be in nature and also finally live in our home on wheels. As it turns out, Egypt is not exactly camper friendly: there are almost no campgrounds and all the beautiful spots that would be suitable for wild camping are populated. More or less by accident we found an organic farm outside of Cairo on GoogleMaps that seemed to have camping facilities. We contacted the owner via WhatsApp and that’s how we came to spend some time on WiiWii’s farm aka President WiiWii’s Republic.
We arrived late at night and the next morning, we got a tour of the grounds. WiiWii is a former corporate guy turned organic farmer and one of the nicest guys we’ve met on our trip so far. On his farm he grows various crops according to season, including dates, olives and vegetables. He also raises goats, chicken and of course there is an adorable donkey mama and her baby. There was only one thing missing from the scene: two adorable puppy girls from the neighboring farm that first loved us to death and then adopted Boggy and us, sleeping right outside our doorstep and protecting us (with loud barking) at night.
WiiWii lives on the farm by himself and works it together with a help - he also often has volunteers from the city signing up to come and help with whatever work needs to be done. If the city folks prefer not to do hard physical work in the summer heat, WiiWii offers weekend getaways on the farm including camping and meals in the form of barbecues over open fire. Poor guy was in shock when we told him we didn’t eat meat - “that’s basically all I can cook!”. But the great host that he is, he turned towards friends on What’s App and facebook to find out what to feed those weirdos.
Besides relaxing we needed to take care of some things: get a new cooker (WiiWii got it on a local market) and buy Malaria medication which we hadn’t brought since we thought we would never make it even close to those nasty little mosquitos (WiiWii organized it through his father). They don’t call him the President for no reason.
Fun fact: there is a shortage in Egypt for the substance hydrochloroquine since some lunatic overseas had a fairy whisper to him in his dreams that this might just be the remedy for COVID-19.
While relaxing on the farm we decided that we were ready for some desert time and found the Bahariyya Oasis, a four-hour drive southwest of the farm, which offers overnight guided tours, so we took off for a two-day trip to see the Black and the White Desert.
You wonder what could possibly be black and white in a desert? Let me enlighten you. The black desert is a rocky area spotted with black stones that used to be lava coming out of the now inactive volcano craters. The white desert in contrast is covered with white patches and also rocks that often have the shape of mushrooms. They result from chalk structures that were created underwater in the ocean that used to cover the desert millions of years ago.
Our private guide took us in his 4x4 deep into the sandy landscape that changed every 50 kilometers from black rocks, to sandy dunes, to white chalk. Wait - we didn’t take Boggy?! That’s right, the good boy would have not taken the desert experience so well (that’s what Bjoern keeps telling himself, I’m guessing it might have something to do with the lack of desert driving skills.) After a full day of exploring we set up camp in the middle of nowhere. And by we, I mean our guide, while we were watching the sunset, enjoying that we were all on our own.
A meal was cooked over open fire and afterwards we took part in a Bedouin tea ceremony. We did not take part however in our guide’s hash smoking ceremony that started after tea - burning a string of weed inside two attached tea glasses and then inhaling the smoke he drifted off into wonderland. It only took the stars above to get us high - even though we were told there’s some of the best weed around in the Egyptian desert thanks to smugglers from Lybia crossing… probably missed out on zooming out big time.
What we did not miss out on was the liberating feeling of hiding behind a rock, pulling down your pants and do whatever business you gotta do, unbothered by anyone else. Oh, feeling the gentle breeze caressing your posterior - priceless.
The time had come to move on and venture further south and after one of us had unsuccessfully tried to smuggle the two puppies on board we took off to a magical place called Nubia.