Travel Blog

Egypt      18. Februar - 01. April 2017

 from  km 13 629  to  km  14 527       total 898 km

After I had packed bike, trailer and all my bike bags I drove to Zürich airport for the evening check-in. This was very convenient because in the morning I had only to deliver my dog Dimitri. A warm farewell with Vivianne, Matthew and Fiona and then quickly through the security check. The plan took off on time and landed four and a half hours later in Hurghada airport. An hour later and 20 Euros less in the pockets I had all my things (including Dimitri) in a quiet corner where I was able to put bike and trailer together. The only problem were the overeager hands with no or little expertise who wanted to help and hoped for some Euros. Luckily my dear friend Dimitri was laying in front of all the other luggage and no one dared to move towards this guardian.

After arriving in Egypt I enjoyed resting. The pressure during the last two days ahead of the departure overwhelmed me a bit and the first night I slept for at least 13 hours. I needed this short acclimation but after that I visited the fish market in the old harbor. I already knew this place from a previous holiday in Hurghada. Here the nose get strained and the heaps of rubbish were not very pleasant for the eye. The atmosphere and the bustle, the many special seagulls and herons completely rewarded me. Some pics from the colorful market and the beautiful mosque in the background.

A root abscess, accompanied by violent toothache made the habituation to Africas heat not easy. After a few days with antibiotics and painkiller it did not get better and I decided to look for a dentist. I brought the transport box from Dimitri to the Bluemoon Animal Center and there I got from an emploee the address of a dentist. The tooth was treated and a subsequent antibiotic treatment prescribed and I was told that I must have a complete root canal treatment after 10 days either in Luxor or Kairo. Since I could hardly estimate the time of this treatment, I cycled to Luxor and postponed Kairo and the Black and the White desert. On the way I had to cross the Red Sea mountain range and the Eastern Desert of Egypt. After my first campsite in the desert and the new experience of camping in a police post I was already  at the end of the third day in Qena in the Nile valley. Oh, I nearly forget to mention, that since Safaga I was under control of the police. A minimum of three men and two Kalaschnikows escorted me from then on.

From Qena to Luxor I had to cycle again with the police escorte and I also had to ride some kilometers until I could catch the first glimps of the Nile. But in Luxor I had a marvelous view over the really blue Nile to the West Bank.

In Luxor the police did`t care about me and I could ride where I wanted. On the way to my prebooked Hotel on the Westbank I met Moni and Robi from Switzerland  The two cycled round the world and were on their way home to Switzerland ( My little hotel was just at the edge of the Nile in a small village and I could experience the life of the rural people. I had a marvelous view over the river  to the city and its temples,

To reach the city I had to take the beautifully decorated ferry and then I landed in the busy part of Luxor. It seems, that everyone is trying to do a little business.

Visiting the temple of Ramses II, I was surprised by the sheer size of the columns and statues. Magnificent reliefs and stone panels testified from the incredible ancient culture of Egypt.

Looking west from the Luxor temple one can see a hilly range where all the queens, kings and nobles found their last rest. In front of it are the colossi of Memnon and the vast temple of Queen Hadschepsut. I visited this part and the Valley of the Kings together with  Moni and Robi. After a last view over the gardens of the West Bank, I said "Good by" to Luxor and rode towards Aswan.

I tried to avoid the police escort and drove on the left side of the Nile in the direction of Aswan. Already at the first police control I had to turn on to the main road and there I was under control again. Unfortunately I could not outsmart the police. Ok , this Escort ha also a convenient part becaus it  keeps away the intrusive, for money begging children and in the evening I had not to search for a place to stay and could sleep at the police post. Also I preferd a night bivouac on the rooftop or on the floor instead of sleeping in the cabin beds of the crew. Despite the noisy train and road traffic and the inescapable mosquitos. The road proceeded almost along the oasis of the Nil valley. On the right the Nile with the palm groves and on the left some houses with little green and then the transition into the desert. The more as we approached Aswan the more camels we saw working in the fields.

The morning of the second day was very pleasant for cycling but soon after noon the sun bisappeared more and more due to a sandstorm. After about 60 kilometers  the police asked me if I would not rather like to put everything onto the police car. Due to this conditions I agreed and was then driven to Aswan and I was also happy to avoid the dirty city Kawn Ombo.

Aswan is the final destination of the big river cruise ships.Here the Nile river flows pituresquely around various small islands were you can find hotels and also the famous Botanical Garden. The remaining parts of the city do not look very inviting. Again I stayed in a hotel on the West Bank with a lovely view to the tombs of the Nobles and again  I could enjoy the nubian village life.

Upstream of the old Aswan barrage there is a lake with several islands. On one of them one has rebuilt the temple of the godess of love. This was necessary because after construction of the dam the temple of Isis submerged on its original site.

After the farwell from the chef of the hotel, I rode on the old, steep road from the West Bank to the Western Desert Road. I knew that up to the Aswan Airport there is no police control. Then, at the first post, I was amazed when the officer simply waved me through. Now I could cycle easy and witout any complications and in the evening I had not to sleep by a police post but could sleep behind a sand dune without getting disturbed. On the next day I was only occasionally controlled and It was such an easy ride that I already had a new record with 109 kilometer in one day. But at four o`clock in the afternoon I could have easy made 10 to 15 km more but I got stopped by the police. I was mot allowed to cycle on,

and was forced to load everything again in a police car. "Its for your safety" I was told. After some kilometers I also saw the reason: a burnt out skeleton of a coach next to the roadside. The remains of an attack on a coach by terrorists some years ago. I this attack a German tourist has been killed. Ok, this was ten years ago but now I never felt insecure and I just enjoyed the 200 kilometers in the desert with the miracoulous "Fata Morgana"  which I even could capture in a picture. The monotony of the desert with mostly the same birds was only enriched by the many carcasses from cows, horses and camels. These build small biotopes where wagtails, larks and Hoopoes gather. They seek the shadow of the emty body cavities and there they may also find some fat maggots. A good energy source for the long flight to northern Europe.

I had to stay this night on the police station and in the morning the head officer did`t know if I could move on without escort. They phoned around an after two hours they had the right man one the phone and this one decided that I could move on without escort. Now I could move and by doing my ride I passed some places with very lush green (very pleasant for my eyes) where the egyptian people try to make the desert fertile and in a distance I saw mountains like pyramids and I could well imagine, that ancient Kings took them as models for their tombs. With a strong tailwind I soon reached Abu Simbel and easy found my pet-friendly hotel.

In Abu Simbel, I still had to wait for the first of April when, according to my visa, I could enter Sudan. Therefore I had enough time to walk around and also visit the impressive temles of Abu Simbel. This temples were also dislocated, stone by stone, after Egypt built the second Aswan dam. Due to this dam Egypt got the large Lake Nasser. The Abu Simbel temples do not have many visitors despite they are among the nicest witnesses of ancient Egypt.

At this time I also had to celebrate my 68th birthday and I did that in a luxury hotel nearby. A nice meal and a bottle of red wine belonged to this celebration.

After returning to my hotel I was received with loud, but no so pure "happy birthday" songs.We now celebrated my birthday a second time and the to was the big Nubian fruit cake. Only God knows where this three men got hold of this lovely tart.

In the afternoon of the second last day in Egyptb I met three overlander. Katharina and Dominik from Germany and Rens from Holland. Dominik  is engineer and will do in Ugada some water projects and Rens will proceed with his Landcruiser to South Africa. The four of us decided to dinner in the mentioned hotel. The next morning we met early at ferry and then crossed Lake Nasser together. On the other bank I had to cycle for another 55 kilometers through the desert to the border post. Leaving Egypt and the entry to Sudan took me and Dimitri more than three hours and 235 Sudanese pounds. But Dimitry has now a

certificate and can enter every hotel in the Sudan.Since the three friends with their cars also had to do some time consuming procedures we met again in Wadi Halfa.