The vast emptyness of deserts

An open door to the desert – by @SinbadsOPG




It all started with this picture I saw on twitter yesterday. Deserts. I’ve always had a thing for them…I travelled ‘through’ a desert twice. The first time, I sailed the Nile from Luxor to Aswan and back. From the boat, you could see the desert creeping up on the river. Sometimes hidden behind a green curtain of palmtrees, other times right in full view. In Aswan we took a little trip inside it, rode a camels back for a couple of hours. My first encounter with the desert. I wasn’t nearly enough protected for it (the sunblock 50 didn’t help at all) and I managed to get an allergic reaction to the sun on my back. Whenever I sunbathe a little too much since then, the allergy pops up. Making me never forget that first encounter. I was sold though. I loved it there.

Oasis at the borders of the river Nile – Egypt.

The Nile at Aswan.

Camel ride in the desert – Aswan, Egypt.

At the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan – Aswan, Egypt.

As you can see in the above pictures, this trip was made before the era of digital cameras… I was 17 back then and errrm, my apologies for the bad quality. But, you get the idea 😉

The second desert I was lucky enough to visit, was the Negev in Israel. I drove through it for hours, from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, from there on to Eilat, and after a couple of days there, back through it, to the Ramon crater and all the way back to Tel Aviv. An amazing place. Stunning views, loved every kilometre in it. In Eilat, I loved to welm myself in its climate, feeling like I was walking around in a gigantic hairdryer (it was August and 47°C).

Negev desert alongside the Dead Sea – Israel.

View on Aqaba, Jordan as seen from Eilat, Israel.

Driving away from Eilat – Israel.

The vast emptyness of a desert – Negev desert, Israel.

Me at the Ramon crater – Israel.

And while both deserts in Egypt & Israel seem to burst with UNESCO worldheritage, both deserts are not classified as such. Seeing the picture of Oman yesterday, I started wondering if any of those fabulous ecosystems are in fact considered worldheritage themselves. The answer is no.

They often burst with worldheritage though. In Argentina, the Quebrada de Humahuaca is an ancient trade route, that starts on the high desert plateau of the High Andean. In Australia, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is situated in a red desert. In Oman the Land of Frankincense is an old trade route, running right through a desert. On the UNESCO worldheritage list I found many stations on old trade routes, passing through varies deserts. Some are home to caves, with prehistoric engravings. As a desert lover & a worldheritage lover, I’ve still got a lot of ground to cover…

Quebrada de Humahuaca – picture by

Uluru – picture by

The Frankincense Route – picture by

-A-, bursting with new plans

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1 Comment

  1. Wow, what an incredible post along with a relevant article.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this post.

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