You are currently browsing the daily archive for December 21, 2009.

Looks like we might miss the first white Christmas in years!

We are in Cairo for a few days to get our Sudan visas sorted. A visit to the British embassy to get a letter for a rip-off £33 and then straight up the road to the Sudan embassy to fill out forms and some photocopying before handing over $200 for 2 visas. We’ve since picked them up. Easilly done and it beats the two months it normally takes in London to get them issued.

Being the only campsite for overlanding vehicles, there are five other overland vehicles here at the Salma Motel. Everyone seems to be in in Cairo to get visas sorted and whatever else before going their different ways for Christmas.

We are also on the search for some pork for Christmas! Craving levels are also running high. We haven’t managed to find any yet despite Cairo being well stocked with almost everything else. The search continues.

It is a 40 minute taxi ride from the Salma Motel, where we are staying, to central Cairo. We have been spending all day in the city exploring. The first day we were here we left our useless Lonely Planet guide behind and relied on the our pocket sized guide.

Cairo’s traffic is at bursting point; I’ve never seen traffic like it. The drivers compensate for long periods held up in traffic jams by making it up on the next clear section. It makes for a fun ride when we’ve got in taxis to get around the city. The picture I took was whilst we were stuck in one of the jams. The taxi driver made time to put on his sunglasses after he saw the first picture of him without them on. Like most buying experiences in Cairo, we had to haggle him down for this taxi ride.

My brother mark put us in touch with Reda, a man who lives in the islamic area of Cairo. We had a great afternoon exploring some of the less visted sites and shops in this area.

We got in a visit to the Pyramids of Giza before heading out fo Cairo Tuesday morning.

We will be in Siwa for Christmas in a few days. We are looking forward to visit to a hot spring in the desert.

After a daytime drive from Mount Sinai, we moved towards the Red Sea. We knew we couldn’t make it to Cairo before dark so set out to find a good camping spot for the night. A man we met the day before recommended stopping at Hammam Fara’un, a natural spring right next to the coast.

We sussed out the area for a while, noticing two young men looking at us through binoculars who turned out to be in the army. They were monitoring that stretch of the coast and it only became apparant later in the night that they were looking out for boats smuggling drugs.

We also met a German man called Stefan who turned up just after we found a spot to camp. He is also travelling to South Africa, solo on his motorbike, and we enjoyed the evening with him. We have to thank him for supplying us with all the GPS maps we were missing for Africa, which we were planning to buy later on our trip.

Saturday morning we spent in the caves known as Hammam Fara’un or Pharaoh’s bath. Used by bedoiun men as a cure for ailments, we used the natural sauna before jumping in the sea to cool off. The heat coming off the rocks was intense.,32.950083&z=16&t=h&hl=en,33.975467&z=15&t=h&hl=en

We stayed in Dahab, north of Sharm el Sheikh for two nights after entering Egypt. We wanted to avoid travelling too far south as we intended to visit Mt Sinai the following day. We enjoyed warm weather, snorkelling and good bread from the German bakery!

Something new for our trip through Africa. I’m adding maps to show where we stay for the night.,34.509383&z=16&t=h&hl=en

December 2009