Touring Ted

2 wheels & no sense. My Motorcycle travel blog.
08.10.2010

Well, what a time we’re having in Egypt. It’s been a right ol’e mixture of highs and lows. Where do I start !!

We got ourselves booked into a cosey hotel in Cairo in what seems like months ago. Nice place with a roof top pool, good internet, breakfast etc. The manager kindly let me haggle him down to 10 quid a night as long as he could jam four of us in a double room with some matresses… We will do anything for a discount and he even threw in free breakie when I told him I was going to send him lots of overlander business… Its the Swiss Inn, Giza !! Plugged !! :)

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We were all set to go into the city centre the next day, visit the embassies and get our visas for Sudan and Ethiopia and head south asap for the ferry to Sudan. We got our “letters of invitation” from the British Embassy easily enough so we set off for the Ethiopian embassy to get that stamp.  After walking around in the baking heat looking for an embassy that didnt exist (thanks lonely planet), asking loads of people, shops, soldiers, cab drivers etc we FINALLY found the embassy in its new hidden location.. It had just closed !! Great !
 Just as well really as they told us we needed our Sudanese visas first. The Sudanese Embassy was closed by then so back to the hotel for lazing around the pool… 

Next day, off we went to the Sudanese embassy to put our applications in… “Come back in four days” was the reply !  GREAT !  There went our plans to make the  Monday Ferry to Sudan and also our room was only booked until Saturday night and the hotel was now full… ahhhh

The silver lining in our plan was that I just recieved an email from fellow Brit  overlanders, Matt & Kim who were also waiting for their visas and were staying in a great little hostel in central Cairo. Bikes packed up and off we headed into the mayhem to find this place.

We eventually rocked up to a lovely little place called the “let me Inn” hostel run by a wonderful old couple and their friends. Very warm and welcoming and almost stress free if the 1920’s elevator didnt keep jamming between floors and slipping on it’s cables ! GULP !!

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By now, we’d been in Cairo over a week and it was really draining on us.. 

Luckily we were saved by Ali………..

We were all walking through town when Neil got talking to an Egyptian guy called Ali who invited us to his small village near the pyramids in Saquara. He wouldnt take no for an answer and arrangments were made to meet him the next day. We saddled up, met Ali (who just jumped on the back of Neils back) and were were whisked off through the city, into the country, through towns and then into his village.  This was REAL Egypt, where woman carried bags on their heads, goats lived in the kitchen and most of the kids hadn’t seen a tourist on a motorbike. We were instant celebs and show the unmost hospitality. We were cooked a meal by his family and taken for a private tour of closed Pyramids accross the desert as Ali’s father happened to be the town major !  A very tiring day.. Stuffing our faces, playing with the local kids and getting our bikes stuck in the desert, but it really broke up our frustration and boredom with Cairo.

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Monday came around and all six of us (Me, Neil, Cam, Craig, Matt & Kim) headed down to the Sudanese Embassy to collect our visas.  We all had an approval apart from Neil.. … “Come back tomorrow” & ” Not my problem” were the only grunts we got from the official..
 This was really bad news as it meant Neil would have to wait four more days to gethis Ethiopian visas due to the Arabic weekend and a public holiday. The five lucky ones decided to take a crazy fast cab to the Ethopian embassy and get our visas which we got the same day ! Neil couldnt bare to wait another four day in Cairo so ew decided to obtain it in Khartoom instead. Hopefully it will work out ok !

SOOOOOO !!  Out of Cairo we rolled and as we had now missed the ferry and the one the following week was booked out. (yes, we forgot to book it and have to wait until the 18th Oct)

As we have time to kill, the decision was made to ride up to Ismalia and visit the Suez canal. It turned out to be a 3-4 hour round trip to look at one big shit in a canal. hmmm ! Not my idea of time well spent but it was better than sitting in a hostel. 

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This rather long detour and our lack of sunset judgement put us in the outskirts of Suez, on a motorway with the sun going down very rapidly. We got to the point where it was just dangerous to carry on with the terrible roads and crazy fast truckers going hell for leather.  A wild camp it would have to be…
 We spotted a dirt track heading into the rocky moutains and very luckily it led us into a disused quarry where we spent a very cool night unders the stars. Our only company being cheaky long eared foxed and clicking bats ! Great fun though and 100% free :)  One of those memorable nights to be sure.

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We set off at 7am the next morning and headed down the coast road all the way to Hurgharda ! Six hours of sore bottom riding later (only broken up by a dip in the red sea on the way where I stood on a sea porcupine and got a foot full of spines) and here we are !!

We are chilling out here now, doing some scuba diving, sunbathing and bike maintenance. Soon we will leave for Luxor and then to Aswan for the boat to Sudan.

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Cairo to Hurghada
 


One Response to “Egyptian stress”


  1. Stan  Says:

    Hi mate sounds as though you are having a great time. I honestly wish I was there with you. I promise I will update my blog in a few days time. Take care
    Stan



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