Llessa, Eastern Desert, Egypt

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be uploading a selection of portraiture that I shot in 2012 when I cycled through East Africa.
These portraits represent some of the remarkable people I met throughout the 5500 mile cycle adventure.

Ilessa. Photographed in Egypt, 2012.
The story of how I met IIessa is a fascinating one.
Awaiting the ferry to Sudan, I was based in Aswan for an extra 7 days, meeting locals, recovering from illness and preparing for the harsh Sudanese desert.
I decided to stretch the legs and cycled north along dusty tracks out of Aswan into the desert. After roughly 20 miles I came across a small oasis. It was a truly spectacular scene. No infrastructure and just locals on donkeys and the odd beaten up car. I remember it well, it was roughly 43 degrees and seeing this small Oasis was a god send. Standing drinking some lukewarm water, a young lad came over on his donkey. We chatted and he invited me to his house. Following a series of tracks I arrived at a small house deep within the Oasis. I spent four hours in the company of the family, meeting cousins, uncles and friends. They were incredibly hospitable people, providing me with fresh pita, meat and fruit.
During this time I met Lessa, a beautiful young girl who was happy to pose for a portrait.
I took her address (managing to keep it safe through the rest of Africa!) and sent her copies of the photos to her father.
I feel incredibly blessed to have had these interactions with such honest kind individuals.

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