L’Oasi di Siwa, sulla rotta delle antiche carovane

postato in: All posts, Egitto, Medio oriente, Mondo | 866

Lo spettacolo che offre il villaggio di Siwa è pressoché unico. L’oasi più ad occidente d’Egitto, a pochi chilometri dal confine libico, esercita un fascino e regala sensazioni ai visitatori diverse da quelle delle altre Oasi egiziane.

Il bus che parte dal Cairo arriva nel piccolo villaggio alle 05:00 del mattino circa e l’alba e il silenzio accolgono i viaggiatori che cercano un luogo unico e rilassante, in fuga dal traffico della capitale. In attesa che la cittadina si risvegli e si animi approfittiamo per una doccia e qualche ora di sonno; dopo aver fatto colazione al Cafè Alexandria prepariamo una veloce scaletta della nostra visita.

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Prima tappa: Gebel Al-Mawta. Il nome significa Monte dei Morti, guardando questa piccola altura pare di essere al cospetto di un enorme formicaio. La collina è completamente coperta di fori che scendono per un massimo di 2 metri e dove erano conservate antiche tombe di epoca romana.
L’arrampicata sulla cima della collina regala un magnifico panorama su tutta l’oasi e su ciò che la circonda.

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Quando ritorniamo nel piccolo villaggio le attività sono ormai frenetiche, ma il senso di pace e tranquillità continua a regnare. Il mezzo di trasporto preferito qui è l’asino, nonostante comincino ad abbondare le numerose jeep che vengono continuamente caricate pronte per le escursioni nel deserto. Noi preferiamo noleggiare delle biciclette.

Scoprire l’oasi è affascinante, un pranzo al famoso ristorante da Abdu nella piazzetta principale, poi c’è Shali, il vecchio rudere della fortezza cittadina, che anticamente serviva da avamposto quando Siwa rappresentava una tappa obbligatoria per le carovane diretta a Menfi, l’antica capitale d’Egitto.

Costruita con un materiale chiamato “kershef” (rocce derivanti dai laghi salati e fango), la fortezza si è letteralmente sciolta sotto le piogge e le rovine sono soggette ancora ad ulteriori processi di disgregazione. Ora si ha l’impressione di essere in un antico labirinto dai muri altissimi.

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Poi pedaliamo fino agli antichi bagni di Cleopatra con una tappa lungo la strada al tempio dell’Oracolo di Amon, situato a 4 km ad est della città,  si racconta che Alessandro Magno, quando giunse per la prima volta in Egitto chiese all’oracolo se egli avrebbe “governato il mondo”; la leggenda racconta che la risposta fu “sì, ma non per lungo tempo.”

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Finiamo così a guardare il tramonto sul lago Fatnas, uno specchio d’acqua nel deserto che esprime tutto il fascino di Siwa in pochi minuti.

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La giornata non finisce così. Pochi chilometri lontano, ci accolgono alcuni beduini, dopo aver cenato con loro ci guidano ad una vasca di acqua calda naturale, intorno è buio, solo deserto, la luna che illumina la sabbia, qualche palma in lontananza mossa dal vento e possiamo immergerci per un bagno caldo notturno.

Il risveglio del giorno successivo ci regala una Siwa ricca di sole, l’ideale per la nostra escursione nel deserto. Dopo aver fatto un po’ di scorte ci aspettano le jeep dell’associazione dei nativi siwani, una Ong locale che sviluppa progetti di turismo responsabile.

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Il Sahara è magnifico, dolci dune di sabbia sembrano disegnate sul cielo limpido. La jeep traccia veloce i suoi segni sulla sabbia morbida, si arrampica sulle dune, precipita in una discesa da luna park. Costeggiamo una minuscola oasi dove due uomini preparano tè, arriviamo ad un lago salato dove possiamo fare un bagno, ciò che non ti aspetti nel deserto, pranziamo sulla riva, poi si riparte. Ci fermiamo dove ci sono i resti di un antico meteorite, ad un altro lago di acqua dolce, a cambiare una ruota bucata, a guardare il sole tramontare tra le dune.

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Le luci di Siwa in lontananza si avvicinano lente aspettando il nostro ritorno, i primi ad accoglierci sono gli asini. Ci addormentiamo stanchi e in attesa del nostro ritorno al Cairo, la nostra mente continua a passeggiare tra le dune, nel giardino di Allah.

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