Link to maps of Egypt  

Ekke writes:

The third of December we took the high speed ferry from Aqaba in Jordan to Nuweiba in Egypt.  We had expected to take the slow boat since we thought the high speed boat was for passengers only but cars were allowed on it.  We arrived in our eleventh country at about 3:00 PM and then waited about half an hour at the docks before everyone could get off.  Once off the boat the bikes were subject to an X-ray and then we rode towards customs.  A Tourist Police officer flagged us down and much to our surprise he had some forms that we had filled out on board the boat.  We had been dreading the Egyptian border crossing ever since Audrey's licence plate was stolen and we had to have the Carnet de Passage changed.  Even Michael Martin had said we should get a new carnet before going to Egypt.  In addition to that hurdle, everyone we had spoken to or had read about said that the Egyptian border crossing is one of the most difficult.  Imagine our surprise then when the Tourist Police officer guided us along every step of the way.  It may have been one of the easier border crossings on the trip.  At other border crossings you were expected to know which person to see at every step but now the Tourist Police took us everywhere we needed to go and in the correct order to boot.  After paying a total of 1,800 Egyptian Pounds (about $350 CDN) for customs fees, insurance, photocopying and licence plates we finally got out at about quarter after five.  Since it was dark we looked for a place to stay fairly close to the docks.  The first decent place was a Hilton Resort.  We didn't even bother going in to check the price, it looked that expensive.  Further up the coast we came to the Habiba, which had small huts and a sea food restaurant.  $35 U.S. was fairly steep but we were a captive audience if we didn't want to ride in the dark.

Audrey at the photocopier


The next day we stopped at a bank machine before gassing up the bikes.  We didn't fuel up in Jordan before we left and had over 400 kilometres on the tanks.  Despite Audrey's bike being on reserve the total for fuelling up both bikes was 52 £E or about $10.  At 22 cents per litre Egypt was in our good books for costs!  The ride across the Sinai desert was terrific and we arrived at St. Katherine at about Noon.  After setting up the tent at Fox Desert Camp we walked to the base of the hike for Mt. Sinai.  Starting up at 2:30 gave us a couple of hours to gain almost a kilometre of elevation and catch the sunset atop the mountain.  A camel driver joined us for the walk up and tried to convince us to take a camel.  He was quite persistent so we asked for a ride down the mountain since it would be dark after sunset.  He agreed to that and plodded along behind us.  Eventually he convinced us that there was no way for us to make the summit prior to sunset and since he started work at 3:00 AM to ferry people to the top for sunrise he needed to get back down to catch some sleep.  So for £100 he took both of us up the trail (at a clip that was much faster than we could have managed for any length of time) to the base of the final 750 steps.  We had 40 minutes to climb to the top and we did it in 30, catching about 10 minutes of good light.  Since it was cloudy, the sunset wasn't really all that spectacular except for a few minutes when the sun broke through.  It was simply amazing enough to be on the same mountain that Moses is said to have received the 10 Commandments.  The first half hour of the hike down the mountain wasn't too bad as there was still some light but after that it was pitch dark and we had to use our headlamps.  After getting back to camp we were both exhausted and crawled into our sleeping bags very early.  Because of the 1500 metre elevation it was cold at night; 10 degrees.

Riding across the Sinai Peninsula





Hiking up Mt. Sinai


But camels were faster


Chapel at the summit


Shadow of Mt. Sinai


A quick breakfast of pita with jam had us packed up and on the road by 9:00 AM.  Again the ride across the desert was simply wonderful (except for a construction zone) and a lush oasis before reaching the Gulf of Suez only added to the fun.  Along the Gulf the traffic picked up a bit and the riding wasn't quite as enjoyable.  The tunnel under the Suez Canal didn't allow us to see the engineering marvel that connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea.  We had talked about stopping in the city of Suez rather than riding straight into Cairo but it was still early in the day so after a break we decided to forge on and miss seeing the famous canal.  Forty kilometres from Cairo the aggressiveness quotient of the drivers seemed to increase.  All of a sudden lane markings meant nothing and drivers started to use every available road space.  This behaviour was especially unnerving at highway speeds where drivers would just bull their way through with a honk of the horn.  Cairo itself was even more insane but had the advantage of low speeds.  There weren't too many automobiles that didn't have any scratches or dents!  Thanks to our guardian angels we arrived at the Sun Hotel without gaining any scratches or dents ourselves.  £120 was fairly expensive but the Sun was only a few minutes walk from the Sudanese embassy, the Canadian embassy and the Egyptian Museum.  Mr. Ali of the hotel hopped on the back of my bike and then guided us to a secure parking garage a few blocks away.  December 5 being Sinterklaas Avond I phoned my folks back home and was immediately very homesick and on the verge of tears.  I started to feel anxious and dreaded doing the trip.  This all seemed so strange.  I had never had such strong feelings of misgivings before.  Except for the week before in Jordan.  That's when we put two and two together and noticed that my weird moods were happening on Wednesdays, the same day I took the Mefloquin anti-malarial drug.  We did a little research and sure enough some side effects of the Mefloquin were panic attacks and feeling anxious.  Time to quit taking that stuff!

Spectacular scenery


We arrive in Cairo and then it gets dark...



Audrey writes:

The Sun Hotel, which I had nicknamed the 'bomb shelter' due to the presence of rubble in many places, was a ten minute walk to the Sudan embassy. Tahrir Square had Metro tunnels underneath, so we could avoid the `Frogger' (70's video game) type experience of crossing streets above ground. At 9:00 AM sharp, we walked into the embassy, hoping to find Dr.Yassir Muhammed Ali, who was supposed to have our visa information from the ambassador in Ottawa. It was 9:30 AM before anyone actually came into the public office area, and after asking if Dr.Y was in, were told to come back at 10:00. We were also told that we had better complete some new application forms, so we took them with us as we went in search of a coffee shop. There was no Tim Horton's right around the corner, but we did eventually discover the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel. Security was very tight as we had to open our bags at the door and then go through a metal detector. We had no qualms about paying 60 E£ ($11) for coffee, tea and pastries and just looked at each other, smiling in contentment. The difference between the 'bomb shelter' and this struck us immediately. Here we were in beautiful surroundings, insulated from the sounds, sights and smells of the streets of Cairo. Maybe we needed something familiar every now and again to keep us sane. Anyway, back we went to the Sudan embassy, and still no Dr.Y. Eventually, they got him on the phone, and I explained that Assim Muhktar, Sudan ambassador in Canada, had given us his name and could he help us. He said he had no information about the situation, and we would just have to start the whole process from scratch. This was very disappointing, as we had started this process in Canada, in June when we sent the Sudan embassy $200 and our application forms. Now we would have to go to the Canadian embassy here and get a letter of introduction. We had been hoping to avoid this step, not only because of the cost (E£290, $50), but because it was time consuming. Lucky for us, the Canadian embassy was a two minute walk away. The standard government 'CANADA' sign and flag greeted us, and we just looked at it, a touch sentimentally. It felt a little less like Canada inside as we had to give up our cameras and cell phones at the door and go through the metal detector. As we sat and waited, someone came over and said, "You must be Audrey and Ekke!". It turned out to be Tom from Vancouver, the Suzuki V-Strom rider who had contacted Ekke via email in Turkey. He recognized us from our website, and had just gotten into Cairo the evening before. He also told us that he had just picked up his letter of introduction, because he had applied for it earlier that morning, and was on his way to apply for his Sudanese visa. But we weren't so lucky. The official in charge of introduction letters told us there was no chance of getting it until Sunday morning, as it was now too late in the day. We were crushed. Sunday was three days away, and we couldn't even apply for the Sudanese visa until we had our letter. Our best pouts did little to move the woman behind the counter, so we walked over to the Sudan embassy. Tom was handing in his application form with his friend George, a Yamaha TT600 rider from Sark Island in the UK. George had just applied that morning, and they told him to come back at 2 PM to pick up his visa. Not fair! After a pasta lunch with George, we agreed to meet up at 6:00 and go for supper. We got the laptop and took it to the Intercontinental, hoping to find some wireless internet. The minimum we could pay was $20 for twenty-four hours, so we went for it. It was great to have time to do banking, check www.HorizonsUnlimited.com, do some emails, and check other travellers' websites. Later, we met Tom and George and went to the Greek Club Restaurant where Tom discovered that Heinekens were only E£8 each ($1.60), so we had a fun evening. An Italian rider on a rebuilt R100GS, just like Ekke's, joined us later and had just spent four hours sitting in Cairo traffic. I understood his name to be Lava (as in 'lamp'), but Ekke found out later it was Lapo. He was also on his way to Sudan. It was reassuring to know we were in good company at this point, going off into the unknowns of Sudan.

Tom!


Friday, the holy day was the beginning of the weekend here, and many stores were closed. Internet was our first priority as we had a lot of hours left to use up, so off we went to the Intercontinental. In the afternoon, we visited the Egyptian Museum (E£50, $10) which really looked more like a warehouse full of dusty sarcophagi and statues. But how exciting to see the gold mask of Tutankhamen, something we've only seen in pictures up until now. It positively glowed, and was surrounded by hundreds of jewels, bracelets, pins, and statues. Apparently, the more stuff you had in your tomb, the greater the chance of having a smooth journey into the afterlife. King Tut must have had no problems because there were roomfuls of special beds, chariots, gold tomb boxes, sarcophagi, gold sandals, organ jars, and so on. It's a shame that these beautiful treasures were displayed so clumsily, often with just a small typewritten description on a crooked piece of paper. When I saw the "Whiteout" on one, I just about had a fit. I give this museum a D- for presentation. Sometimes it was just a padlock between a priceless treasure and the general public and the number of statues that were being touched was sad. We finally did see some appropriate displays, and realized that some German and Polish archaeological teams had set them up. The 'extra' fee to get in to see the mummies was E£100 or $20... each! Based on our guidebook, this price has way more than doubled in just a few years. We are held hostage to these prices because who could leave Egypt without having seen the mummies? Sure, you can buy a complete Koshary meal here for less than $2, but it's the entrance fees that will get you. Anyway, could they please take a fraction of my entrance fee and pay someone to dust the place?

No photos allowed inside the Egyptian Museum


On Saturday, we caught a bus to Giza, site of the great pyramids. Good thing we had finally learned our Arabic numbers so that we could flag down the proper bus, which would have just blown by us without stopping. The road leading to the pyramids was lined with beautiful palm trees, so the half-hour bus trip was not unpleasant. We saw our first pyramid through the bus window, and it was absolutely magnificent. Another dream come true! We brushed off about ten touts on our way to the ticket office, a bit of foreshadowing of our day to come. A guy who said he was 'control' took Ekke's tickets, but it turns out he wanted to 'guide' us through the pyramids, so we promptly took them back and gave them to the real ticket-takers. The Great Pyramid of Cheops stood right before us, and we stared in awe at the gigantic blocks used to build this 4600 year old structure. The pyramid of Cheops' son, Chephren, was smaller but built on a plateau, so it looked quite impressive. It also had a bit of the original limestone covering at the top. The smallest pyramid was that of the grandson, Mycerinus. He fell in love with his daughter, so she took her own life in her distress. Her only request was that she be buried inside a golden cow and be taken out into the sunshine once per year.  Fair enough, I say.

The Great Pyramids of Giza


After trying to take a few pictures while brushing off camelride-sellers, we walked up to a desert plateau where things were fairly peaceful and got a great view of the pyramids. The city of Giza was right on the edge of the piece of desert that surrounded the pyramids. I'm sure someone was making sure that developments would not get any closer. We walked down toward the Sphinx, accosted by groups of school children saying, "Hello, hello" in mocking tones. Ignoring seemed the best strategy here. We bargained for postcards and papyrus bookmarks, always paying just a fraction of their initial offer. We checked out one of the tombs, and found we could crawl right into a small opening into the rocks to have a look. The sarcophagus casing was still there, and it sent a shiver down my spine just imagining a mummy lying in this place. The sunshine outside was a welcoming sight, and we had a close look at the pyramid blocks, realizing how huge they were. Someone who knows about these things estimated that it took 10 000 workers 11 years to build one pyramid. But, Pharaohs were considered gods, so they could get a lot accomplished with thousands of workers, in relatively little time, at very reasonable prices.

The shot no-one ever takes: Sphinx butt


A more classic photograph


Our front row seats on the bus home were very entertaining as we watched the driver juggling fares, change, crumpled bills, tickets, and his steering wheel, all while watching for riders trying to flag him down. Bus drivers usually stopped when a passenger wanted to get off, but occasionally people had to take their chances and leap off the moving bus. We didn't get to try it, however, as the bus was stationary when we got off.

Bus driver didn't hit anyone


After picking up our letter of introduction at the Canadian embassy, we submitted our application form at the Sudan embassy. Tom, the other Canadian had still not received his visa, and was there waiting. I decided to mention our contact, Dr. Y., but the official got a touch defensive, saying he could get us a visa right away. Asserting his power, I think. After paying, we were told to come back at 2:00, and sure enough, our visa was there. We also got word that the cheque we had sent the Sudanese embassy in Canada had been mailed back to our address in Canada. What a day! Have I mentioned that $750 was missing from my bank account? I had tried to take E£4000 out at a bank machine, which said insufficient funds and money didn't come out. But we were stunned to learn that the money had been debited from my account anyway. We thought that we would never see that money again. But, luckily I had a contact at the Bank of Montreal in Calgary, and Diane was able to look into it. What a relief to see that the money had been returned to the account.

Surf and Turf Cairo style (McDonald's had free Wi-Fi!)


Monday, December 10th was spent packing up cold-weather clothing, and mailing it back to Canada, along with a few souvenirs. We had attempted to do it the day before, but it's impossible to get tasks like this done in a short amount of time. Finding boxes, tape, the post office, and the parcel office took most of the day, which meant that we had to stay another day in Cairo.

The bikes had been left in a parking garage, and after having the usual arguments about the price (they were trying to charge us for an extra day), we rode off in the direction of Giza. It was worth paying the $10 entrance fee to the pyramids, just so we could take some pictures with the bikes. A guy was even selling sheik headware, so we bought a couple for $.50 each, and looked really silly and touristy while we posed for photos.

Looking very "sheik"











Ekke and the GPS led us easily out of town, and we were immediately in another world of donkey carts, fresh meat hanging from small shops, camels carrying huge loads of reeds, and women doing the wash in the Nile canal. It was slow-going, riding through every small town, so we went over to a bigger road and made better time. The Nile valley was so picturesque, lush with palm trees and emerald-green fields. But the garbage being thrown into the canal was sad to see, and we were wishing that some of the tourist dollars could support a better waste disposal system. The fast road continued through small town after small town. The Nile valley apparently accounts for 98% of Egypt's population, and I think everyone was out on the streets that day. We slalomed through pedestrians and vehicles of every type, wondering how the big tourist buses to Luxor got through there in good time. It was a `2-lane' road, but oncoming traffic passed other vehicles at any time, forcing us onto the shoulder constantly to avoid the head-on collision. Sometimes we got passed by one vehicle, which was then getting passed by another vehicle, and occasionally another vehicle would try to pass all of us. The mini-buses, vans carrying about 12 passengers, were notorious for forcing everyone to the side of the road, and we wondered that there weren't more accidents. But, alas, we finally did come upon a mini-bus, lying in a deep ditch on its side, belching steam and smoke, with passengers just scrambling out the front passenger door. It was the first of three accidents we would see between Cairo and Aswan.

Garbage pile along the canal


Doing the dishes has a different meaning here


Happy riding along the Nile valley in December


As it was getting dark, and we knew that headlights were optional with many vehicles at night, we decided to stop at El Minya and look for a hotel. It was just a small university town, so tour groups did not stop there. The only hotel available cost $4 per night for the room, and as all the clientele were men, it wasn't exactly a pleasant experience for me sharing a washroom with them. We took a long walk down to the Nile, along a beautifully landscaped walkway, and this was some compensation for our bad hotel situation. A couple of nursing students from the local university chatted with us for a while, just practicing their English and wanting our opinions of Egypt. These were the real Egyptian people, the ones who had little contact with tourists, and who were not trying to sell us anything. We felt so comfortable walking the streets of El Minya, with many people asking where we were from, and saying, “Welcome”. As we tried to leave the next day, the hotel staff told us that we needed a police escort, and a couple of officers just showed up on a Jawa 350, ready to roll. They rode us 70 km, and then handed us over to the next shift. How comical that must have looked, being escorted by a couple of Peugeot 406's, one in front, one behind, and four officers in each car. Talk about over-doing it. This went on for at least seven more shift changes, some escorts in small trucks with a gun-toting officer sitting in the back. Some went really fast, some very slowly. Ekke motioned that we needed gas, so they took us to a gas station. Ekke mentioned that we were hungry, so they took us to a restaurant. Ekke said that we needed a hotel when it was getting dark, so they found us a hotel in Qena. Occasionally an escort just left us, but there was always another one up ahead that knew we were coming. Overall, the escort had probably slowed us down, so we didn't make it to Luxor as planned. E£100 ($20) for the El Hamd Hotel was too much, but we were in no position to bargain. As they brought tea to our room they also provided us with a menu for their restaurant, Crepaway. The whole menu was crepes - crepe hotdogs, crepe chicken, crepe burger, and our favourite, crepe super crepaway. Hilarious. So, we went down for the crepes, had a couple of chocolate ones for dessert and were quite happy. We asked for the bill, and the waiter said E£50 ($10). This sounded a bit high, so we knew he was just picking a number from the air, and we asked to see the menu again. Instead, he brought us a hand-written itemized list of what we had ordered, with prices, and it all added up. We couldn't seem to get a menu from him and were too tired to pursue it. As we were downloading pictures later that night, we made an exciting discovery: Thinking that all the crepe stuff on the menu was so funny, Ekke had actually taken a picture of the menu! There it was, in English and Arabic writing, but prices only in Arabic. The guy had basically charged us double for everything. With renewed energy, we marched downstairs, showed him the real prices, and asked for our money back. He tried to explain that these were `Egyptian' numbers and that an Arabic `6' was really a `12'. He was somewhat disconcerted when he found out that we knew our Arabic numbers, and he eventually coughed up the money. After all the number crunching, combined with our state of fatigue, it seemed easy for him to take advantage of us. The next morning we realized that he had still double charged us for the drinks, so with a little more arguing, we got more money back. Unbelievable.

Practice your Arabic numbers before coming to Egypt!


Luxor was only 60 km away, and I think it was too early for the police to find us an escort, so we were able to ride the whole way by ourselves. There were a couple of checkstops, but we just showed our passports and Egyptian driver cards, and were quickly on our way. Ekke found Reizeiky Camp and we took a room in their hotel. It was within walking distance of Karnak, the impressive pharaonic temples. Along with hundreds of other tourists, we wandered among huge statues and the hypostyle, a grand hall with huge columns, all with intricate carvings.The Sacred Lake glistened in the sunshine, and I could just picture the holy men coming down for their daily cleansing, 4000 years ago.

Yummy breakfast for $0.40 for two


Temples of Karnak


Hypostyle


Obelisks


Polychromatic paintings preserved underneath the lintels





Blue Man group





A two kilometre walk took us to Luxor Temple, built by Pharaoh Amenophis III, and added onto by Kings Tut and Ramses II. There was also an ancient mosque in the courtyard, and we watched as Roman frescoes were being restored by some experts from Rome. The faces on many of the huge statues were extremely well-preserved, and the fading sunlight lit them perfectly. The temple was illuminated by floodlights after the sun went down, and it really added to the magic and mystery of the ancient temple.

Gratuitous Police Motorcycle photo


Temple of Luxor


Avenue of Sphinxes





Papyrus reed columns





As we wandered out to a poolside breakfast, we noticed that Tom's V-Strom was parked beside ours. He heard us talking from his hotel room and came out to join us. He had ridden from Cairo in one day arriving at Reizeky Camp at 2 AM, and he looked a little exhausted. But, amazingly he had enough energy to find some bicycles for us to rent for 25 pounds ($5) for the day. We rode to the ferry, crossed the Nile, and cycled up in the direction of the Valley of the Kings. Riding seven kilometres uphill with the one-gear bikes didn't appeal to any of us, so a taxi driver threw our bikes onto the top of his cab and drove us up for 25 pounds.

Cycling by the Collosi of Memnon


My priority was to see the tomb of King Tutankhamun, found in 1922 by Howard Carter. There was an extra 80 pound fee to see this famous tomb, which we happily forked out. We had seen a news program on CNN a month earlier that showed King Tut's mummified body, finally open to public viewing after all these decades. We weren't exactly sure where the body was, and some locals even thought that it had been taken to Cairo. As we descended the stairs of the tomb, we looked around the corner, and there it was: The mummy of the famous boy king! I had predicted there would be long line-ups and possibly no chance to see the tomb. But there we were, just the three of us, standing in King Tut's tomb with the guard upstairs doing who knows what. We had the entire tomb to ourselves for at least ten minutes, and it was awe-inspiring. Millions of people around the world have viewed King Tut's treasures, but here we were, just us three, staring at his tiny mummified body. Incredible.  A gold sarcophagus still lay in its stone casing in the burial chamber and the walls of the tomb were colourfully painted and fully intact. It was a touching experience, but all I could think of was Steve Martin's 1970's song, 'King Tut' ("had a condo made of stona"), unable to get the song out of my head for days.

King Tut was brought out of his sarcophagus only the month before


Simple wall decorations for a boy-king, what would a real king's have been like?


No one had a guidebook with them, so we just winged it in the valley, our ticket allowing us to visit three more tombs. Tausert's tomb, later usurped by Setnakht, had very long rock-hewn corridors decorated with carvings and paintings. Tutmes III's was neat because we climbed stairs up a cliff, and then descended deep into the burial chamber. Ramses III's tomb was very colourfully decorated to resemble the underworld. After a bit of lunch with Tom at a French restaurant, we rode back to Luxor. A group of South Africans in a Land Rover had pulled into camp. They had been stuck at Port Said for two weeks and were trying to get the ferry to Wadi Halfa on Monday, just like us.

Tom found out that a convoy left at 7:00 AM, and as it was uncertain as to whether we could get a police escort from here, we decided to get up early and try to make it. We rode to the main street of Luxor, and there were buses rushing down the street - the convoy. These convoys are set up so that Westerners travel with police protection. A terrorist bomb would devastate the tourist industry as has happened in the past. The convoy sped through towns, sometimes at 120 kph, so we really made good time. After about an hour, it grinded to a halt, apparently for a break. I suspect that the drivers all needed a cigarette as everyone here seems to smoke. At one point, Tom just started passing the vans and buses, and we joined him. This didn't make the police officer in the front bus very happy, as we found out when they caught up with us at the next checkpoint. But we made the 220 km to Aswan in no time and headed straight to the ferry station office. There were plenty of overlanders there ahead of us, so I thought our chances of getting on the ferry to Sudan were slim to none. But since we had motorbikes, it was no problem getting us and the bikes on the boat. Usually this isn't the case, but as Tuesday was the beginning of Eid el Atah, a Muslim holiday, they weren't taking cars as there wouldn't be staff to unload. It was hard to contain our excitement, but we needed to do so as there were a lot of long-faced overlanders among us. They could possibly band together and rent a private barge for their cars, but the holiday lasted for a week, so it didn't look good. Lapo, the Italian we had met in Cairo, had been in Aswan for a week, having just missed last Monday's ferry. Apparently it had left a few hours early. He arranged for us to follow a taxi driver to the police offices for our paperwork to show that we had not "killed" anyone in Egypt. The driver, Michael, was able to jump queues and offer a little 'baksheesh', or tip money to various officials to speed up the process. We had just enough time to bring the paperwork back to the ferry office and get our tickets. Lapo also got us rooms at the hotel he was staying in, the Keylany, with the cleanest rooms this side of Bavaria ($20). After a walk along the corniche and a beer or two on a park bench, we had dinner at a floating restaurant on the Nile, which was very special. Beside us was a Swiss couple, travelling in a Land Rover, who were both pilots. She had flown a small plane around the world.

Ekke and Lapo outside the Keylany Hotel (note sheep in the background for Eid)


On Sunday, we had a full day to prepare for the ferry and Sudan. Lucky for us, Lapo had done the desert travel thing before, and could offer some suggestions. Michael, the cab driver from the day before, took us to a local lunch spot. We had falafel, pitas, fried aubergine, and tajina - fantastic. Michael paid the 'locals' price for the meal, and then we paid him a fraction of what we would have paid on our own. Tom had been getting his knobby tires put on his bike and had noticed a couple of Ducatis parked on the street. It turned out to be Matais and Robin, two Italians that he had met in Wadi Rum, Jordan. He showed them how they could get ferry tickets, and hopefully convinced the official that their bikes could fit on the ferry. If their paperwork comes through, then they could be joining us as we head off into the deserts of Sudan. Apparently communications such as email and phone service are very sparse. Mike and Ruby went to Sudan five weeks ago and we haven't heard from them. I'm trying to stock up on a few essentials such as crackers, tuna and milk powder, but Pringles are 20 pounds ($4), so we'll probably have a potato chip-free journey. We can't even find peanut butter. Christmas will probably be in Khartoum, about a week from now.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Map of Nuweiba to El-Minya  


Map to Aswan


Back to top of page