I’ll have to get a picture of the scene in the fields here. Men in straw hats with cows and donkeys working the land surrounded by intense green. It’s overload for the eyes when you’ve travelling along desert roads all day and this scene suddenly hits you.

A worthy stopping off place today. We hired a guide for a few hours in the morning to show us around the medieval town of Al-Qasr. With some guidance the town is a good example of an oasis town which still feels like it would have done years ago. The winding streets manage to remain cool in the heat and protect inhabitants from sandstorms. Entrances to old houses are marked by lintels made from acacia beams that were carved with the name of the carpenter and the owner of the house.

Our guide was an english teacher who I managed to hire through a tourist lodge on the edge of town. This always seems to be a good place to start when we need something locally. Our guide somehow managed to get off teaching for two hours whilst he showed us around!

Nothing seems to be set in stone here, especially when it comes to food. We ate at a restaurant for lunch, the first time in a while that we had decided to sit down and eat. The food was ok, nothing to write home about, but it proved to be a nightmare trying to figure out how the bill came to 300 Egyptian pounds, that’s roughly £33, for some rice and veg and a few drinks and use of the internet. I spent half an hour discussing with the manager how it could add up to that much. I broke the whole bill down to exactly what we had eaten and eventually he decided to reduce the price. It was still too much for what we had. He  topped it off by also charging us for a plate of peanuts!

We camped nearby after getting stuck in the sand! It took a while to get out after letting the tyres right down to almost flat and a fair amount of digging. We’re getting good at getting out of the sand, but not so good at avoiding the situation in the first place! It’s the first time we used the high-jack by jacking up both ends of the car and pushing the sand under the wheels to gain height again.

We met an Austrian family earlier in the day who were travelling north. We chatted for a few hours and they gave us plenty of pointers for later in the trip.

We listened to – John O’Farrell: An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain: or Sixty Years of Making the Same Stupid Mistakes as Always