WEST of the Nile, several oasis towns, such as Al Qasr, Mut, Farafra and Bahariya dot the desert with green. There’s more serenity than Bonnie Doon, 12th century towns and the stunning White Desert.
The area was a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold, so when we visited in 2005, security was tight. And helpful. In Asyut, we were met at the station by police who took us to the bus station. In two other towns, police took us to a hotel in their jeep.
So we hitched 40kms out to the White Desert, and I went jogging alone after dusk.