Day 64 - Hurghada Has Slipped Down To Herangle

Trip Start Aug 07, 2007
Trip End Nov 07, 2007

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Monday, October 8, 2007

Hair: Defo Requiring a Trim - touts are now yelling at me from barber shops now
Beard: Lead guy from 300.
Distance Driven: 8,298km
Frame of Mind: Eurotrash

I was quite looking forward to travelling in convoy from Luxor to Hurghada.  Convoys have been mandatory for all tourists since the Luxor killings in the 90s.  Unfortunately I didn't get up in time.  So I toddled off on my own anyway.  The police didn't seem to care too much.  I got stopped quite a lot but all I had to do is show every bit of paper in my possession and wait ten minutes each time.  Needless to say I waved myself through a few of the checkpoints, else the journey would have taken all day. 

I did pass a convoy going in the opposite direction.  Quite a sight.  Perhaps 100 luxury coaches, the same number of minibuses and for protection 2 police cars.  A terrorists delight!  They may as well paint red crosses on their roofs and call in the USAF.

Twas a very pleasant 300km.  The route followed the Nile for 50km or so (although I was clearly on the wrong track as it was little more than a single lane track connecting villages), which is always nice.  At Qena the route takes a sharp right and crosses the 160km of desert that separates the Nile from the Red Sea.  Egypt really is a huge desert with everyone living on a very small percentage of the land - either on the banks of the Nile or the coast.  Everything else is really a bit inhospitable.  The desert started flat and lightly sandy but as I neared the coast mountains rose up and I found myself winding between passes, very reminiscent of scenes from StarWars.  I flew.  It was grand. 

When I hit the coast the motorway started and so did the strong headwind and flying grit/sand I had hated so much on the Khartoum/Dongola stretch of my travels.  Again it cut 20kmph from my cruising speed and made the last 50km rather tedious.  Must inquire into buying another 400cc or so for my engine.

Hurghada is the Red Sea's Costa del Sol.  I drove for perhaps 20km along the coast road and saw resort after resort.  Very multinational.  Lots of flesh, much of it red and much of it wearing speedos.  Luxor is very touristy but it is a heck of a lot more subtle than this.  It was quite a shock to the senses.  I nearly drove on!  But I needed to find out if it was reasonable to take a ferry across about 80km of the Read Sea to Sinai, to cut off 800km of my journey.  Moses had very much the same idea a little while ago.  In fact it struck me that I had done the same journey as the Israelites had done all those years ago.  I wasn't being chased across the desert by Pharoah's army.  I'd imagine my journey was a little more pleasant. 

I wonder what the pharonic histories say about that episode?  Anyone know?  

Anyway, the answer was no, not do-able.  It weren't gonna part for me either.  I also realised that Eid was fast approaching and I needed to get to Cairo before then to check the status of my Libyan visa...had Gadaffi decided to let me in?  I hope so or my journey will have a dozen more countried and several thousand more km added to it.

I thought about going on a snorkelling or diving trip, or taking a desert safari but I couldn't be bothered.  So I sat on a beach - voluntarily - all day and read my book.  I got a little red.  It was a good day.  It felt like a holiday!

Tomorrow morning I head off early to cover the 500km to Cairo in the coolish part of the day.  Pyramids, here I come....
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charlesaclark on

Testing testing 1,2,3....

amy_n-b on

Please update
Dear Mr. Clark,

Please update as it has been almost 10 days since your last. Yours sincerely, the public

PS Am a stones throw from a job doing research (not the huge bucks, but meaningful, anthropological type work. Imagine that?)

charlesaclark on

Re: Please update
As requested dear....

Did the stone reach the target?


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