|Bir Wahed, Egypt|
Karl, a fellow traveler and I made arrangements to leave in the afternoon and spend the night at a little oasis in the desert. We traveled through massive dunes to find the hot springs in the middle of sand, like a mirage. Around it, green foliage grew, giving the space a soothing respite from the sea of sand. After soaking for almost two hours, we got into the 4X4 Jeep for another “joy ride” going up and down several feet of sand to find another spring, this time a cold one.
We drove through areas that looked like a sea in previous eras. There was even some broken shells on the ground to attest to it. In fact, all five of Siwa's salt lakes may very well be left over from an extinguished sea, and the hot springs are proof of volcanic activity in the area.
It even rained a little, a very rare occasion in the desert, but only a few drops. The clouds and slight breeze were soothing after a long soak in the hot water. We arrived at our camp in time for the sunrise. More springs surrounded by palm and olive trees. After a simple dinner and a weak coffee, it was time to call it a night. We were the only guests there and our host did not speak any English, allowing us to have a very quiet and relaxing time.
In the morning, Karl and I made a strong coffee as our cook was sleeping soundly. It was magical to be in the majestic desert with springs popping up all over the place. Our driver picked us up at 9am and when I got back to the Palm Tree Hotel I felt a little change in my being. The vastness of the desert and the gentle sloshing wind on sand reminded me that I too can be as expansive and peaceful as the desert.