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EGYPT: a pictorial guide to the Sinai Desert - I

 by Francesco Zezza

This article has no actual meaning but the pleasure of introducing a beautiful country: Egypt, and namely, in this report, The Sinai Desert. I actually have a lot of excellent excuses to do so: It was my FIRST scuba trip (11 days spent in Hurghada in 1989). Egypt is cut into two parts by the Channel of Suez (an artificial human artifact) connecting the Red Sea and, in a more general way, the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea (the beautiful sea of us europeans!). Then I returned there a LOT of times, maybe because my youngest brother settled down in Sharm el Sheikh (the southern most point of the Sinai peninsula), where he lived for three and a half years. We always had a GREAT visit there. Among other things, I have to remember: a trip to Egypt was the VERY LAST trip I had with my father (a few months later, he passed away).

I have to mention the "South Criuse" when we left from Sharm el Sheikh and sailed south almost as far as the border of Sudan, which was among my best experiences in Egypt: it took us 15 days to go back'n forth! And then ... meeting mantas, sharks of different kinds (including the … hammerhead!), and dolphins, exploring the wreck along the reefs, and much, much more ... (BTW: a report on Red Sea diving is on the go!)

Yes, to me, it's ALWAYS a pleasure returning (and I happened to return there something like ten times!) to the "Enchanted Kingdom" ...

This article is merely a "Pictorial Guide" of an “Off-Road” one day trip in the Sinai Desert. Let's go now, the trip is about to begin ... I'll point your attention to three different places in the Sinai desert, namely: Nabq, Uadi Ghazala, Coloured Canyon.

·        Nabq: along the coast facing (far and away) Saudi Arabia: it's here where, for the first time, I saw the mangroves.

·        Uadi Ghazala: a HUGE stretch of rocks, stones, and sands only barely crossed by paved road. The term "Uadi" strictly indicates a dry river still “running” toward the sea. Generally speaking, Uadis are dry,  but on the few occasions that it rains (very seldom, but when it does, it pours!!!) they may carry a LOT of fast flowing water in a matter of minutes... in these cases, you have to be careful!

·        Coloured Canyon: a long "wound" carved by the ages of time in the ground, well known for the unbelievable colours of its rocks. To go there you have to cross a mined camp, as the road carefully indicates!!

The naturalistic protected area of NABQ. 

 

Entering the Nabq area: The fellow looking at the four wheel drive car (highly suggested in the Sinai) is the youngest of my two brothers, Maurizio.

The Nabq shore, with mangroves in the background. A lot of Fiddlers Crab (likely Uca sp.) are found here, but regrettably, they’re small, and at that time I had no “macro-lens” for the camera …

UADI GHAZALA.

Pics, sometimes, are better than a thousand words: see below …

Both pics: this is the Uadi Ghazala area seen from the paved road. We’re going to cross (remember the four wheel drive car?) the sandy area stretching up to the horizon.

Upper pics: Here we go!!! We’re entering the desert …

Continued in next page

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