Known locally as ‘the road of razors, we had made arrangements the following day to meet our guide at 7 30am today to travel the road from Siwa to Bahariya. After an early breakfast we were ready to follow our guide to the military checkpoint on the edge of town to receive our permits. We turned up to meet a convoy of other vehicles also going the same way.

It was sad to leave our hotel. It was a great base for Christmas and we will miss the food, showers and the men (no women to be seen!) who ran the hotel or did odd jobs, who were all very helpful.

The day turned out to be a 7 hour drive passing through 8 military checkpoints along a partially built road from Siwa to Bahariya. The road has suffered from lack of funding so it is in terrible state.

We passed some spectacular scenery. There is no way we would have found our way without a guide, so it was worth the 300 Egyptian pounds to follow someone who knew the way. The sight of a German helicopter that had crashed in the desert in 1943 added to the isolation.

Much of it was like Wacky Races as each vehicle tried to find the best part of the road whilst trying to see through the clouds of dust that the vehicle in front had left behind. It was fantastic driving and our guide took us through some dunes along the way to mix up the journey. Every time we stopped at a checkpoint he got out of the car and gave us a thumbs up and a smile. He was so small we wondered how he saw over the steering wheel! Only one of the 5 or so vehicles got a puncture; this was after our lunch stop at one of the checkpoints.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/amillerphotos/

Police checkpoint 3 was here somewhere. I’m hoping to get these links to show the exact position of where we were. Bear with me!

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=28.796759,26.553345&z=10&t=h&hl=en