Day 6, October 17: Farafra Oasis to Dakhla Oasis, 298 km
Leaving Farafra, we hit a road that has been coated with some wet gray substance. It looks like cement, but it's the slickest thing I've ever experienced in 35 years of riding.
One of the organizers has a very bad crash and has to go to the hospital. This is kept very quiet—we never heard about any of the problems that the organizers encountered, and they encountered a lot of problems, including major issues with obtaining enough gas in the desert for the scooters and the support trucks. This deserves an article on its own. The organizer gets X-rayed and nothing is broken. His scooter is trashed and gets loaded into a pickup truck we’ve had with us since we started traveling in the desert.
For once, we arrive at our destination almost on time and have time to take a tour of one of the local sights: The Medina Al-Qasr. This is an adobe brick fortress town constructed in the 12th Century C.E. Several thousand people lived here as recently as the 1970s. It's not a large town, perhaps 10 acres ringed by an adobe brick wall. Today is not hot by Egyptian standards, maybe 98 degrees, but the walls make the air at least five degrees hotter. "Oh," said Owen, a rider from the Isle of Jersey, "this must be the sauna." We also saw the telephone room—equipped with one phone for all 2000 inhabitants.