Itinerary for the 2012, Sand, Wind and Stars Expedition
to commemorate the 70th Anniversary (almost!) of the formation of the Long Range Desert Group
Sunday 1st April 2012
On about this date we ensure both Jeeps are in Egypt via Shipping Company. Drive to Cairo
Meet Mahmoud in Cairo.
Thursday 5th April 2012
Hotel accommodation to be arranged by Siag Travel close to the Giza Pyramids and Mena House Oberoi.
Day 1. Friday 6th April 2012
Depart. Early from Cairo to overnight in Baharyia Oasis. Visit Englishmans Hill. LCP Site.
Day 2. Saturday 7th April 2012
Bararyia to Dakhla. Enter The Desert.
Day 3. Sunday 8th April 2012
Bir Sahara (N 22 52 E 28 36) dug by the desert Survey of Egypt led by Beadnell.
Day 4. Monday 9th April 2012
Bir Sahara - Gebal Kamil (N22 15; E 26 15) Gebal Kamil was a major landmark along the Wadi Halfa - Kufra convoy route which was extensively used by the SDF, but was originally planned and guided by the LRDG who acted as navigators for the SDF until the route was marked by barrels, posts and abandoned vehicles.
Day 5. Tuesday 10th April 2012
Gebal Kamil - Eight Bells (N22 48; E 26 40); Eight Bells was a major land mark in the southeastern Gilf al Kebir and where the largest LRDG airfield was laid down... the sand there is so firm, so flat that it offered the best landing routes for planes. Now it is marked with thousands of shell gallon cans.
Day 6. Wednesday 11th April 2012
Eight Bells - Gebal Al Alam (N23 15; E 26 38) - Al Aqab Al Qadem (N23 28; E26 32) - Wadi Wassa (N 23 05 E26 10); al Aqab Al Qadem was guarded by regular LRDG patrols...
Day 7. Thursday 12th April 2012
Wadi Wassa - Shaw’s Cave - Maghert Al Qantara (discovered by Kennedy Shaw in his daring 1935 expedition in Wadi El Firaq) - Three castles (N23 25; E25 25) an isolated island in the middle of the sand sheet south of western Gilf al Kebir, the three castles was a watch post for the LRDG. Many barrels and dumps are still there.
Day 8. Friday 13th April 2012
Three castles - Wady Soura (N23 34; E 25 15) - and 'Robbers Nest'. A camp discovered by Mahmoud’s cousin, Mohamed Fayez, who kindly supplied the waypoints. This is the hiding camp where Almasy hid his Purzel (car) during mission Salam when he smuggled two German Spies into Egypt via Gilf al Kebir. Four tyres and a Ford battery remain there, along with a sun burned and eroded canvas, cigarette packs and tin cans.
Day 9. Saturday 14th April 2012
Wadi Soura - Aqaba Pass (N23 25; E25 43) - Gebal Almasy (N24 05; E25 50). During the evening we shall be screening the film The English Patient in the very cave the story is based in.
Day 10. Sunday 15th April 2012
Great Sea of Sand... note: We shall enter the Great Sand Sea from an unprecedented area, at latitude East 26 10... This could be the highlight of the expedition. The goal of this part of the mission will be revealed at the meeting in Cairo just prior of our departure. If successful we shall accomplish a unique achievement.
Day 11. Monday 16th April 2012
Great Sand Sea - Big Cairn. The Cairn erected by Patrick Clayton marking the first east - west crossing of the Great Sand Sea between December 1931 and February 1932, from Ain Dallah to the flat expanse of sand in then West.
Day 12. Tuesday 17th April 2012
Great Sand Sea - Pillar rock - towards Ain Dallah to stop at one of the LRDG vehicles abandoned in the middle of the dunes. On to Siwa for the night. Siwa. Hotel accommodation to be arranged by Siag Travel
Day 13. Wednesday 18th April 2012
An extra day in the Great Sand Sea.
Day 14. Thursday 19th April 2012
Siwa Oasis. Hotel Accomodation.
Day 15. Friday 20th April 2012
to Alexandria and finish the trip with cocktails in The Cecil Hotel, Alexandria.
Hotel accommodation to be arranged by Siag Travel.
Day 16. Saturday 21st April 2012
Drive back to Cairo. Expedition members free to fly home, or enjoy a few days in Cairo after this date. We would advise an afternoon, or evening flight. Not morning. It is about a 3 hour drive from Alex to Cairo. Or leave it until Sunday 22nd April 2012.