The Driest Place on the Planet
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Tomorrow’s weather forecast for Aswan, Egypt: hot, no rain.

Technically Aswan is not the driest place on the planet. That distinction goes to The Dry Valleys in Antarctica, which last saw precipitation two million years ago, give or take a few days. Aswan, though, is the world’s driest permanently inhabited town. The last time it rained here was in 2006. Before that it was 1994. Do the math and the average annual rainfall works out to 0.5 millimeters, or about the thickness of a stack of five sheets of typical photocopy paper.

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Egypt’s Time-Forgotten Eco-Resort

The resort itself feels a little like the casbah in Star Wars (except without the space aliens and bar fights)

We are prepared to stand by this bold statement:

The Adrere Amellal is the single coolest eco-resort on the African continent!

Set within a scenic oasis, at the foot of a dramatic rock-mountain, amidst the desert in Egypt, the Adrere Amellal has the feel of a place time forgot. The local Berbers here still live much like they’ve done for centuries, wearing their traditional clothing, speaking their native Siwi (not Arabic) and harvesting the bountiful dates and olives by hand.

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5 Cool Cargo Ship Cruises

Conjure an image of what’s it is like to go on a cruise. Are you picturing buffet dinners? On-deck spinning classes? Retirees playing shuffleboard? Many cruises really are like that. But if you’re looking for a different sort of cruise scene consider traveling by cargo ship.

Cargo ship travel is the un-cruise. There’s nothing fabricated about it. Every day thousands of freighters ply the high seas. Some of them have extra state rooms and accept passengers to tag along for the ride. This is as “real” as travel gets.

Of course, cargo ship cruising is not for everyone. Cargo ships don’t have swimming pools, evening entertainment, rock climbing walls or organized mixers on Lido decks. Go on a cargo ship cruise and there might be as many as four or five other paying passengers like yourself. Or, you may be the only one. And while cargo ships often have comfortable sleeping quarters they’re unlikely to be luxurious.

To book passage on a cargo ship you can go directly through some shipping lines. But we recommend working through a travel agent that can vouch for the quality of the food and accommodations and can make sure your itinerary includes sufficient shore leave time. One of the best agents for cargo ship cruises is Intrepid Travel. Here’s a look at their five cool cargo cruise ship itineraries:

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