Dahab to Crazy Cairo,Luxor and Aswan

Dahab to Ras Sudr

The drive from Dahab to Cairo was an interesting one. We arrived at the first security check point, only to  be told that the St Katherine monastery  was closed and that we would have to be escorted all the way back from where we had just come from by police convoy. A few other tour buses arrived. Mike,thinking our noble steed would lead the convoy, darted off first, only to be overtaken by almost all the buses, which flew passed us at a ridiculous speed.   When we finally arrived in Sharm El Sheik, we had to wait for a group of other tourists who were headed in the same direction so we could all travel together in convoy. This coastal drive is possibly one of the best we have ever done, I have never seen a more beautifully colored ocean. The turquoise and blues seemed as if it had been taken straight off an oil painting. Truly beautiful.

We did not make the Suez before dark and followed our GPS to a camping spot in Ras Sudr. The town we drove into looked like it had been abandoned, the camping spot was closed and not one light was on for miles…. We saw some lights further down and headed for cover, we found a nice little hotel that gave us a good deal on a room for the night.

In true pikey style we took our gas cylinder up to the room and whipped up Alla Steak and two minute noodles on our balcony, unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of  this proud moment as I was on watch while Mike seared our steak.

Dahab camping at The crazy camel camp

Ras Sudr to Cairo

The next day we got up early and made for the Suez canal, where there is no picture opportunity or viewing point…. It’s all very secret.

Along came Cairo…. Intense, fiery people, a hustle and bustle that only India can equal. The camping (I know… camping in Cairo right??) spot in our GPS had closed down but a local spotted the over-landers from a far and ran after us for quite a while until we realized he was chasing us. They offered for us to camp at their house. The place they stayed was beautiful, a lovely garden bursting with bougainvillea, swimming pool and clean bathrooms – we were in luck, until we saw the size of the driveway, we could not park  and open our rooftop tent in the space provided. Finally we made a plan to park on the road and open the tent into an entrance that led us straight into the garden.

What a night, our street was guarded by two dogs who protected their ground like lions, an all night disco played music loud enough for the entire city and finally the mosque at 04:00. To greet the beginning of our first day in Cairo with red eyes called for a ‘manning up’ situation.

The pyramids and Egyptian museum were spectacular!!! And made up for it all!

With tickets for the ferry in hand we headed for Luxor….

Cairo hustle and bustle

Luxor, Aswan and Wadi Halfa

Luxor was a great place to stop over, we stayed at Rezeiky camp which greeted us with green grass a swimming pool and two friendly dogs. We set aside some time to take in the local sights such as Valley of the Kings, Hetchopsut , Karnak temple and Luxor temple.

We were in no hurry to get to Aswan so made full use of the pool and met up with two bikers from S.A. Michnus and Elsa as well as two cyclists from France and Ireland. It was good to kick back and hear all their stories about the trip we were about to embark on as they had just come from Sudan and were heading to Europe. The highlights we have heard about so far are the friendly people in Sudan, Ethiopia wonders and Malawi,especially the ‘Mad monkey’ camp spot.

We had to buy diesel on the black market because the Egyptian government withhold petrol, diesel and benzine due to elections coming up and in hope to swing attention to the power the current government holds…… we had to pay three times the price to get 40 liters of diesel.

The time came again to pack up and hit the road. Destination: Aswan this is where we will be catching a ferry to Wadi Halfa and finally reach Sudan.

Luxor spices on every corner

Aswan

In Aswan we met up with two Dutch couples, Daan and Cynthia and friends of theirs, Joris and Marthe. We all battled the challenge of bureaucracy to in finding a solution to getting our cars across to Wadi Halfa by ferry. We were told by Aswan’s most popular local Mr Salah that the water in the Nile was “dwindling” and therefore a public barge would not be heading across for the foreseeable future. Our only option was to rent a private barge for 20,000 Egyptian pounds and split the cost between the three of us and anyone else we could find. Due to issues in Syria, we seemed to be the only people traveling South, so a private barge it was.

We encountered a few delays but were finally on our way 5 days later. We got the best spot on the ferry right next to the Captain’s cabin.

Loading cars in Aswan

Wadi Halfa

On arrival in Wadi Halfa we were greeted by the International liaison officer – Mazaar, a delightful character and very helpful indeed.

Wadi Halfa is a waiting room for everyone there. However we found some good food, accommodation with AC and had our Dutch friends to play many rounds of progressive rummy with. Four days in Wadi Halfa waiting for the cars was just enough to rest our heads and full our bellies and get incredibly competitive.

4 days later we have our cars back from the barge ride and off we head…after running into a Swiss/German couple who were held up at the Ethiopian border for suspicion of taking sneaky pictures with their underwater camera. Both Sonja and Marcus have been on the road for three years now and are finally on their way back home. Hats off to you guys!

Wadi Halfa - Welcome to Africa

Sudan here we come…

4 Responses to “Dahab to Crazy Cairo,Luxor and Aswan”

  1. Kim says:

    Hi guys!! You make every bad situation sound awesome!!! xxxx

  2. Glenda Rae says:

    Hello you crazy lot, sounds like you have had some hectic times and beautiful things to see. Maybe not such a good idea to take photos everywhere? lovely to read all your news. lots of love be safe and happy and have fun fun fun
    Glenda

  3. Michele Sparkes says:

    Sounds fantastic, did you get the letter from us?
    Do you need contacts for Ethopia?
    Look forward to catching up soon

  4. Irene Proimos says:

    Wowweeee thats so amazing you meeting fellow travellors on the road as well. Crazy. Imagine you get the travel bug and decide to continue the drive for 2 more years .. yikes … hopefully i’ll have a kitted out car and can join you somehwere then!! Still so awesome though. We also been playing progressive rummy! Guess its not the same though haha. Love you guys!! xx thanks for all the updates, i love reading what you up to – keep it up!

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