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Here By Glimpses Known

We've sadly been unable to explore much of the Egyptian desert due to instability in the country and safety restrictions imposed by J's work. On a trip to Fayoum, however, we went to Wadi Al-Hitan (Valley of the Whales), a World Heritage Site, and spent a night camping surrounded by fennec foxes.

Junebug was only 7weeks old at the time, so it was a speedy visit. Camping with a 3-yr old and a newborn in a 2-person tent = interesting, but not worth repeating unless strictly necessary. :P

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Whale fossils in Wadi Al-Hitan


The whole area was once a lagoon with an extensive mangrove:



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Photo with J to give you an idea of the size of the sandstone formations:

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Humpbacks, shooting the breeze. :P

Oh, and what the heck, why not a camping pic and one of a fox:

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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Sep. 17th, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC)
What a magnificent place!
mnfaure
Sep. 17th, 2014 06:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'd like to go back and spend more time. We visited on a windy day and so it was really unpleasant to walk around, especially with the wee ones. We didn't have time to explore and get off the beaten (marked) path.
khiemtran
Sep. 17th, 2014 07:43 pm (UTC)
Wow! I'd never heard of Wadi Al-Hitan before, but those fossils and rocks look amazing...
mnfaure
Sep. 18th, 2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
I'd never heard of it either before coming here. Online, somewhere, someone wrote a criticism of the outdoor museum, calling it kitsch because the fossils have been assembled...um, kind of like, you know, they are in every other museum you might visit. I found it a bit odd that anyone would expect the bones to be left in situ considering it is often necessary to take fossils from several specimens to complete a "picture."
asakiyume
Sep. 17th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
Sprout and the fox staring at each other--so magical! The whole scene is completely otherworldly--the stone echoes of a lush, watery past, and now it's all sand. The whale fossil!
mnfaure
Sep. 18th, 2014 06:58 pm (UTC)
It would have been great to have arrived earlier--we got there too close to sunset--and to have stayed longer so that we could have experienced more of those magical moments. It was warm enough out that we slept without the "shell" over the tent; we had only the netting layer between us and the desert night. Several times we left Sprout light up the surroundings with the flashlight and were rewarded with silvery gazes turned our way. :)
(Deleted comment)
mnfaure
Sep. 18th, 2014 06:55 pm (UTC)
"Sprout and Fox"...sounds like there could be a tale in there.

We were camped just above the museum welcome center, and one of the staff told us that there were about 30 individuals who lived and roamed around the area, probably because of human refuse.
nipernaadiagain
Sep. 18th, 2014 06:06 am (UTC)
Now I want to see that place, too!

I love the first and the last picture so much, thank you for sharing them.
mnfaure
Sep. 18th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
I would really love to go back and spend more time. The desert was gorgeous.
xjenavivex
Sep. 18th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
wow thank you
mnfaure
Sep. 18th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
You are most welcome. :)
frigg
Sep. 18th, 2014 11:22 pm (UTC)
Ah, my pea, I live vicariously through you.
mnfaure
Sep. 20th, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
And this comment makes me want to post more and better. We shall see; we shall see.
clarentine
Sep. 19th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
That is...astonishing. And humbling.
mnfaure
Sep. 20th, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
There are myriad wonders in this world, are there not?
clarentine
Sep. 20th, 2014 03:57 pm (UTC)
So very many. We are fools to think we control any of it.
mnfaure
Sep. 20th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
Complete fools
I'm currently reading Edible Forest Gardens, 2 Volume set by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier, and Mr Jacke makes pretty much this same point when talking about how we've (oh so successfully) destroyed the forest systems of North America with our mindless destruction and then almost-as-mindless "fixing." By "fixing" I mean the vicious cycle of pesticide use, etc.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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