20-Mar-2004 -- We went of for a play in the dunes. The nearest ones to Cairo are close to 30N 30E but we were not specifically aiming for 30N 30E, but would visit if we got near.
When we left the Baḥariyya road it was obvious from the tracks that 30N 31E is a very popular destination as the notes on the web site implies - all the tracks seemed to be heading that way! Anyway we hit the first ridge of dunes and had a play and then stopped for lunch. Ideas formed over lunch (not necessarily good ones): We have sand tracks for getting unstuck and they have been used for sand boarding before, just tie them on the back of your truck! Bet no ones arrived at 30N 30E on a sand track tied to the back of a truck driven by a nutter before! But, we had better practise our skills first, we thought. John, chief nutter, tried his hand first but Liza, best looking nutter, put us all to shame with style and panache.
We were ready for 30N 30E, all we had to do was get over this ridge of sand. This proved to be a bit harder than expected and after planting most of the trucks quite well, lots of digging and almost losing a sand track, we gave up and headed home. You may well ask how do you loose a sand track. Well, you put it under your front wheels and you drive over it, normally you pick it up and move on, but on this occasion it went deep. After a lot of digging, and I mean a lot of digging, and probing with rods we were about to give up. Richard who owned it said: "Lets give up", and said: "Of course if we were in the movies, this is where I fling my probe into the sand and we will find it." Well he did, and we did find it, way forward of where it disappeared and very deep. Ford, we don't know how your Explorer did that!
Anyway heading for home we thought we would stop at 30N 31E as it is less than 3 km off the road and there is lots of building going on in the area. In fact the latest satellite imagery we had suggested it may have a proud piece of real estate on it since the visit to it in 2001. After roughing it over 800 m of off-road we arrived it at the Confluence - it is still in the middle of a rubble dump but civilisation is getting closer and closer - the nearest graded road is only 100 m from it and it looks like you will soon be able to buy a valuable piece of real estate over this Confluence.