Reflections on My First Attempt at Off-roading


This post aim to communicate the positive energy that’s been channeling me ever since my first overnight camp trip at Qataneyya Sand Dunes in the Western Desert, which also witnessed my first attempt at off-roading, something I never considered I’d have the guts to try out. We left Cairo at 11:20 pm and arrived there at around 1 in the morning the following day, without sensing much of the beauty of the place because of darkness, just enjoying the void containing us and the chilly weather contrasting with the warmness of the people, most of whom never met before that day. This picturesque desertial spot we chose to be our camp site, was so incredibly calm and quiet as if longing for visitors, and the huge line of dunes seemed waiting for us to climb it, watch the stars from above, chat, and relax to really embrace the calm and tranquil spirit filling the place, which we all did not long after we set up our camp.The scenery, a massive line of crescentic dunes, as mild as sea waves, was beautiful far beyond what you may envision, unless you’ve actually been there.We ascended the dunes, dined, chatted, laughed, and watched the stars from above, and started falling asleep one after the other. That vast place contained and gathered us as if it were a warm home, again it’s the warmth of the circulating spirit and the tranquility that descended upon the gathering.

I woke up next morning to discover the scene that witnessed the camp’s arrival, walks, chats and our active presence in the night before- a soul-captivating scenery it was.

A few meters away from where we parked our cars, lays the massive sand dunes that stretch for as far as your legs can walk you and your eyes can see.

We decided to depart the place at around 10:30 am, and arrived in Cairo at 12 or 12:30 pm to actually start our weekend…

Leaving the massive space that hosted us for about 10 hours and still carries our spirit and bears our footprints was like bidding farewell someone you met with on a short trip but decided to keep as a friend.

It was a heartwarming trip that I’ll never forget and probably would ever compare to any following ones.
It was my first camping experience, first off-roading experience, and first time to engage in a sincere contemplative relationship with the deserts, and that’s why it shall remain, indeed, a unique one…

Maha Youssuf
First published on Sahara Safaris’ forums


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