Beyond the feature: Egypt in sound, colour and video

This weekend I had a feature on Bedouin lodges in Sinai as the lead piece in the Guardian travel section. As I’ve done with other printed stories (like myNYT piece on Caribbean camping), I wanted to add a little extra on here – to complete the picture a little. The images, video and audio are in three parts…

Basata eco-lodge
AlKarm eco-lodge
Driving through Cairo

From the Guardian piece:

The Basata Ecolodge is a collection of 20 bamboo huts and beautiful adobe chalets scattered across the seashore and backed by mountains, 46 miles south of the Israeli border. The front porch of our hut, where multicoloured cotton rag rugs are laid under a straw veranda, is 10 paces from the water

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There is very little noise. The tranquillity is broken only occasionally, when a worker cups his hands towards the mountains and wails the call to prayer.

Every night at the camp, guests gather around a table in the middle of the communal area for freshly caught fish, okra stews, grilled aubergines, copious tahini and whatever else the chef has decided on. The meal dissolves into the evening, as Bedouins shuffle in and out of the candlelight and Sherif’s kids and their friends chase each other around the sand.

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Al Karm
From the Guardian piece:

The Al Karm Ecolodge in the heart of Sinai gets very few visitors. Built on the remains of an ancient Nabatean settlement, the project was financed by the Saint Katherine protectorate in 2002 to support the local Bedouins through sustainable tourism… Again, the emphasis is on impacting the land as little as possible, with a handful of dwellings constructed from desert stones and mud-mixed concrete, furnished with carved driftwood washed up in the nearby wadis.

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And here’s how we returned from the camp the next morning:
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Driving through Cairo on the way to the airport was one of the most thrilling journeys I’ve ever experienced. The Egyptians abandonded peripheral vision many aeons ago. Watch as mosques and cars loaded with workers speed by.
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