Stairway to Eternity Chapter (V – Part I)
One mid-morning in February 2600 B.C. as Pharoah’s fleet rounded yet another of many capes along this unknown coast the expectant men suddenly saw flags! They were red, yellow, black and blue, flying high in the strong coastal wind. Here at last was Tarfaya, but the Pharoah wondered if it had been worth such a long and dangerous journey.
What joy! Snefru would at last see his son again after over three months of uncertainty. Now it would be possible to go ashore and tread dry land again, after such a lengthy voyage. The land was indeed dry, a few palms, some poor buildings, what looked like a temple in the village square and alongside the village was the Egyptian camp. It had been set up on one side of the bay that formed a small natural harbor and it seemed larger than the village itself. In fact there were five thousand Egyptians in the camp and only two thousand villagers in Tarfaya. Small, open, reed-built boats were lying on the beach so it seemed that these primitive folk did venture out to sea to fish. Fish were in fact plentiful in this enormous sea.
The sailors on Pharoah’s ships had already noted many species never before encountered on their voyages from Egypt to ” The Kingdom of the Cedars”. Pharoah’s eighteen surviving vessels anchored in the sheltered bay of Tarfaya and without wasting any time he, the women and the royal guard under the orders of Harmhab had gone ashore to greet their countrymen who lined the shore to welcome them. Later the sailors and carpenters, cooks and animal-keepers would also go ashore and both expeditions would exchange tales of their long, heroic and dangerous odysseys.
Now that at last they were at Tarfaya, a conference was demanded by Pharoah and Cheops; a meeting with the elders, chieftain and high priest of this tiny settlement. Through the scouts from Tidikett who served as interpreters (their language was similar) the Egyptians started interrogating the frightened leaders of the village. These, as can be understood, were stunned by the arrival of an army of five thousand armed men with camels and horses. Nothing like this had ever been seen or heard about before; they had never seen iron swords or chariots, or the clothes worn by these strange foreigners. Nor had such large and well-built ships ever been seen or dreamed of. They were awed and thus determined to collaborate in every way.
The Egyptians however were anxious to hear much more about the white pyramid of Ra: This vision was to be the whole point of this great adventure; so where was it?. Coming down the coast Snefru and his men had kept their keen eyes skinned for any mysterious apparitions but nothing had been seen by day, nor night; only the night sky brilliant with stars.
The high priest of Tarfaya, a man named Guanarte, insisted on the Egyptian leaders following him to his temple. A short walk from the camp to the village square was called for. As they progressed the villagers stood in awe of the visitor. Rumors were already rife that these foreigners had travelled for months looking for their white pyramid. In fact only a handful of the villagers had ever seen it, they were a few fishermen who had been blown west from their normal coastal fishing grounds and had been fortunate enough to get back! Many had not returned and had been given up for lost. Maybe the white pyramid had taken them as a sacrifice.
The Egyptian leaders were taken into the small temple and, as at Tidikett, there on the wall behind the primitive altar was a painting of the white apparition. Guanarte explained to the gathered leaders of the Egyptian host that this strange sight had been seen by different fishermen. It required at least two days sailing into the great sea, away from the coast, in the same direction that Ra travels before disappearing.