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Dakhla Oasis Egypt

Dakhla Oasis Egypt
Dakhla is among the most remote Oases being far from both Cairo and Luxor. Yet it is well worth the expenditure in time and effort. You pass from Farafra along one of the loneliest stretches of road in Egypt. If you stop, you can stand by your silent car and hear nothing but the wind for ages. 

It is a large oasis covering a large area with many small villages and hamlets. You will know when you have arrived as many of the famers like to wear straw hats- which you do not see in other oases.

Dakhla is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited places in Africa, or rather Mut, its largest town is.
Mut, which means mother in the Ancient Egyptian tongue, is really the mother of all dwelling places. Houses carbon dated to 13,000 years ago have been unearthed there.
Balat City in DakhlaDakhla is home to many ancient remains, hot springs and towering over it – the escarpment which dominates the skyline on the northern side. In the oasis town of Qasr (like many of the Oases, the main town is called Qasr after the fortress) a Dutch lead team of locals have succeeded in almost completely rebuilding the dark mud walled old town.

This place of narrow alleys and secret passages is one of the great sights of Dakhla. Lose yourself in an endless labyrinth which is like something out of desert sequences in "Starwars" or the movie "The Sheltering Sky".
Deir El Haggar
Deir El HaggarA few kilometers before Qasr is the intriguing Roman ruin of Deir El Haggar. This place was once under sand- which helped preserve the paint on the carvings. There is something very recent about paint and to see some that is 2000 years old is quite amazing. One can compare oneself to the great explorer Rolhfs who signature can be seen quite clearly on a column in front of the temple of Deir El Haggar.
But he carved it when the sand was much higher. Now cleared away to reveal more of the temple, his graffiti is a good three meters above the ground.
Across the way from this restored roman temple complex are conical hills full of tombs. Some have been excavated, some robbed but as you cast your eyes further there are many more similar looking hills spread throughout Dakhla.
Biking in Mut
To see all the antiquities in Dakhla you can ride in the back of a pick up, take a taxi or hitch lifts. Better, probably, is to hire a pedal bike.

You can hire bicycles in all the Oases. Mut is no exception- though with its wide largely empty roads it makes for some of the best on-road cycling in Egypt.



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