Day 5, October 16: Desert camp near Bahareya Oasis to Farafra Oasis, 270 km
You've heard of Bum-F-ck Egypt? I’ve been there.
We ride through the sand the same way we came in. It goes better this time. By now, the new riders have been copying the techniques the long-term scooterists use, and everybody looks better. My favorite is Paolo, an Argentine in his 20s. When I asked him what riding experience he had, he said “well...I’ve ridden a bicycle a few times.” Now he’s looking better and riding smoother than many of the long-time riders. Damn youth.
After we leave the desert camp, we stop in Bahareya, a small city in the middle of the desert near the Libyan border, to get gas and change the oil in the scooters. While the mechanics do the roadside service – literally, they just put the scooters on their center stands on the side of the road—we stop by a roadside cafe and have Turkish coffees, Pepsi, and shisha.
The men at the cafe are very interested in the two young ladies in our media crew. The women were wearing jeans and a short-sleeved shirt, and the countryside out here is serious burka-land.
The locals in the cafe thought they were being cool with their leering. They were really, really not cool about it. I guess when the most you see of a woman is her ankle, a bare arm will drive you to distraction.