Day 046: Switching to Survival Mode
Trip Start Aug 15, 2011
89Trip End Ongoing
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The next day it happens. After dragging myself outside to go for a short walk around town and take my videoclip of Sohag, I go back to my room, which reeks of insecticide, gaze out my window with a view of filth and squalor as far as the eye can see… and make my decision.
This adventure is over. As much as I'd like to keep going and to add Luxor to my collection, I’ve got to know when to quit. I’m going to switch from Adventure Mode to Survival Mode, and focus all my energy on making it back to Cairo and from Cairo back to Casablanca. No more pictures, no more hikes… no more discoveries
Egypt has beaten me down again and again on this trip—and finally broken me.
Finished Country: Egypt
Population: 80 million
Country: 36th in Global Minstrel Tour
Rank: 10th most explored country (2012B)
Towns: 31 (1005-1031, 1096-1099) (A quarter of the forecast of 121)
Days: 20 (August 20-Sept 2, Sept 27-Oct 2, 2011) (a third of the forecast of 60)
Hours: 254 Average per Town: 8.1 Average per Day: 12.7
Encounters: 17 Average per Town: 0.5 Average per Day: 0.9
Kilometers: 334.7 Average per Town: 10.7 Average per Day: 16.7
Photos: 302 Average per Town: 9.7 Average per Day: 15.1
Video Clips: 33 Average per Town: 1.1 Average per Day: 1.7
Memories: Average per Town: Average per Day:
Intertown Hikes (3): 1011 Tanta-Mshi Ganzor-Sanadi- Zenara-Krfas Sucarn-1021 Babi Kafr Hammam (32.2 kms), 1022 Mit Ghamr-Zifta (33 kms)
SUPERHIKE: GREATER CAIRO: 5 Towns, 119.1 Kilometers: Cairo-Giza-Shubra El Kheima-Abu Sena-Qalyub
Prize Winning Towns ():
Egypt, a country I thought would be a piece of cake, turned out to be my most difficult country to date where I got robbed, conned and seriously ill
I’ll divide Egypt into 4 sections which I explored:
1. Greater Cairo Superhike (7 towns). I hiked from the airport in the east to the pyramids of Giza in the west, and from Coptic Cairo to the delta farm villages in the north. I visited a couple suburbs via the subway for good measure—definitely feels like I experienced Cairo.
2. The Nile Delta (14 towns) Thousands of villages that could be explored here—but after 14 and a couple of very unpleasant experiences, I felt I’d seen enough. It’s quite depressing to see so much squalor in the most naturally blessed regions in the Middle East
3. Suez and the Sinai (7 towns) After the misery and filth of the Delta, this region felt like a breath of fresh air. Port Said and Ismailia were downright pleasant… and once you head down the Sinai you forget that you’re in Egypt and you feel like you’re in some hippy Shangri-La, enjoying the good life completely disconnected from the world. Dahab was by a wonderful, but very un-Egyptian experience.
4. Southern Egypt (3 towns) I was miserably sick this time, which sort of clouded my feelings towards this region and Egypt as a whole. Finally reached my breaking point in Sohag and decided to call it quits. Can’t exactly claim to be an authority on Southern Egypt I guess.
I may go back to Egypt someday--there still are some pretty major archaeological sites that I didn’t get to. But I don’t feel I have any obligation to do go back. So I’m going to go ahead and call it a "finished country" so I can move on and not feel like I’ve got an half-done chapter calling me back
It’s true that I only explored a fraction of the towns that I’d forecasted I’d visit… but I’ll be more than happy to make up the difference somewhere else… like Morocco… a country I’m coming to appreciate more and more as I see that being able to wander all over a cheap, third world country freely is not something to take for granted.