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Halfway across we had a cafe stop - have a feeling this might be obligatory to support the bedouins. Children and mothers were only too happy to pose for pictures in return for the unwanted carbs in our breakfast bag - the orange juice and fruit yogurt were icing on the cake. They made money on drinks ad stalls and toilets (2 egyptian pounds)In fact the food was snatched from our hands. Sad.
My friend Barbara's summary of this part of the journey and the stop...
After what seemed ages but was about half an hour we set off, escorted by an armed police pick up complete with flashing lights, a modern day caravan through the desert. Away through the Red Sea Mountains towards stop 75. Called this by the British Army as one of the fuel dumps for the Desert Rats during the war.
The foothills along the route looked as though they had been tipped out of a jelly mould,smooth and silky looking like the boulder clay cliffs at Filey. There was evidence of rain in the deep gullies carved by running water but no actual moisture was obvious .
We came upon stop 75 without much of a fanfare, no petrol station prices, no McDonalds sign or gaudy lighting. Just a well lit bazaar type arrangement of tourist tat shops and a bit of a cafe, well more like a tea bar really complete with old fashioned tea urn and chocolate bars, crisps and snacks things. Oh and 2 £e (20p) for the loo! We were pestered by Arab salesmen trying to sell us all kinds of tat and "La a shoukran" and even NO were frequently heard above the general hubbub.
We didn't need to buy breakfast because we had our packups remember? So, there were items that we did not want. As we were buying the hot drinks a Bedouin woman and her children had materialised out of the desert complete with donkey and goats and were begging for food in return for having their photos taken. We gave the children our rolls and fruit drinks . I can't think this was a good idea really because it's not their usual diet and it must be awful for their teeth! So this was why The tour guide had said we would need our breakfast. Apparently the Bedouin people are literally dispossessed having no rights, no social security and so effectively they don't exist so far as the government is concerned. We were told that. water is provided for them but that's about it really. (Small dams have been made - Viv) They were so glad to have the food that they literally grabbed it out of our hands, it's a very sad situation. I thought the children looked old before they had been young if you know what I mean.
I also think that the hotel provide this huge amount of breakfast in the knowledge that it's going to be given away. The stop seemed very well organised and well timed so it's probably an arranged daily event.
11th Mar 2012, 19:39