Monday: 21.February.2005

Battman Continues to His World Tour - Part IV

RAD note: The following entry is taken from an email I received today from my buddy Battman, who is currently traveling the world.

Subject: White desert, Red Sea

Hi. Been a while since my last update. Much has happened.

I visited Beruit (Lebanon) and greatly enjoyed walking along the "Corniche," which is a seaside sidewalk with both locals and tourists enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, waves crashing on the nearby rocks. Plenty of people-watching there. Across the street are shops containing every imaginable item, but a simple coffee shop was my favorite.

Within a couple of weeks I was in Egypt and learned of the assasination of Rafiq Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon, who led his country forward after its civil war in the late 70's. A bomb blew a crater 10 feet deep in the street and sidewalk killing him, 20 others, and wounding over 100. It was the same "Corniche" sidewalk I had enjoyed so recently, and brought a reminder on how things in the world are precarious, in some places more than others.

On a lighter side I am now in Egypt and will leave in a couple days for Kenya (via Cairo).

continued

Here in Egypt I've enjoyed the Pyramids, the National Museum, the desert, and meeting interesting people. I also honed my skills in avoiding & setting-boundries for "touts" attempting either to sell items at exhorbatnt prices, or persue other annoying habits they gravitate towards. They are disrespectful towards women not from their country/religion, especially women traveling alone. These women have my respect for standing up to the challange.

From Cairo, where the pyramids are, to the White & Black deserts, I met many travelers with fascinating stories. I've included a few pics of:

Fellow travelers in the "White Desert" (40-KB). Mark, Jamie, Aris, and Yung do "balancing acts" on an Inselberg. Inselbergs are odd shaped formations in this desert made from wind carved chalk stone. A chunk of this stone would be the prize of any school teacher with a lot of writing to be done on a blackboard.

Mark, Jamie, Aris, Yung and I sharing a taxi ride in Cairo (50-KB) ... smiling because we made it alive from the desert, and the taxi drive into town.

The "Step Pyramid" in Saqquara (85-KB). The oldest stone pyramid in the world. ~2700 B.C. It is shaped much like the older zigurats (clay-brick step pyramids) found in anceint Mesopotamia. Undoubtably, this is where Egypt imported it's technology from .. but the Egyptians used limestone and granite .. resulting in the last of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World still surviving.

A few pics of the underwater reef and fish around Dahab, Egypt. Not my photos as my camera is not an underwater model.

I've had two spectacular dives in the Red Sea so far and expect another two before leaving. The coral and reef life is superb! Huge coral heads like pipe organs, fans, and giant brains, some 6 to 8 meters high, with fish of all colors and sizes swimmimg through and among them. This was occasionally punctuated with schools of thousands of fish that swirled around me as I swam seemingly weightlessly through them. Nice stuff. Wish I had an underwater camera with me then. Maybe on one of the upcoming dives.

Let me know how you are doing! I enjoy hearing from each of you I send this update to.

Next update:> The "Turkana Safari" in Kenya. Talk to you then!

Nomad Mike





Posted by Rad at February 21, 2005 05:12 PM

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