It’s been getting hotter as the days countdown towards the peak of summer. As soon as the sun rises the temperature slowly starts to become unbearable, and you find yourself confined to the dark and cool rooms of your house.
Now that we are parents, gone are the days of blissful lie-ins and leisurely meals. Instead I find myself being woken up by a small cry, and opening my eyes I am confronted by a smiling face, mouth wide open exposing the first signs of two white baby teeth on the lower gum. Meal times are no longer eaten in a relaxed manner. To get through each meal requires you to gulp down each mouthful in haste without even thinking about the food. Why would you need to think? Leave that for when you finally get to shut your eyes at night (only to be woken up yet again..).
It was another early wake up call today that was the deciding factor in going to Wadi Degla. Within an hour of jumping out of bed, we were dressed, fed and in a taxi speeding our way along the rough roads at 8am.
Wadi Degla is a protected area (founded in 1999) located in Maadi, and is a rocky valley, ideal for hiking, jogging, cycling or just spending time with your family and friends having a BBQ. The scenery is nothing spectacular, and far from beautiful, but its the closest thing you’ll get in Cairo to a ‘park’.
The taxi had to snake its way through waste land and uneven roads pockmarked with craters and random decaying sofas. The area is full of the offices and factories of different businesses, with the constant banging of heavy machinery. I spotted drilling equipment behind a gate and lining the road that leads to the entrance of the Wadi (valley).
People who are lucky enough to have a car are able to bring it into the Wadi itself and drive around until they find a suitable spot to picnic or start their hike. There is a flat pathway, surrounded by mountainous terrain on either side, that winds itself around the valley for roughly 14km.
Milestones (or kilometrestones) mark how far you have gone..
The area is full of stones, that resemble some kind of crumbly cheese
Trash drums are located all around the Wadi
but some people fail to get it in
It was quiet this early, with only the occasional dog walker or hard core jogger. Every now and then a cyclist would zoom past us leaving a trail of smoke in its path. The sun was getting higher in the sky and the temperature was rising quickly. There is little shade in the valley, but we did manage to find some along the ridge of the mountain and sat down on a large sandy rock. The temperature was mild out of the sun and once you drench every part of your clothes and body in water it was amazing. Soon enough a gentle breeze was blowing, cooling the sweat from our backs.
The sun was too bright so I experimented with my sunglasses, using it as a filter. Love the dirty dream like effect that I got