Egypt




















1/10 Nuweiba, Egypt
Lat N 28° 58,55', Long E 34° 39,81'
Today: 96.8 °F ( +36 °C)
01 Oct 2005
21841 km

The ferry left the docks at 4 AM, with a delay of six hours and forty minutes and probably twice as many passengers that is was approved for. We chose to spend the four hour trip on deck close to the life west’s and life boats.

We were on of the fist car to get off the boat and got taken care of by the Tourist Police strait away. He was to help us to though the procedure. It was never a problem to get though the 18 instates - it just took patience and money.

They demanded us to pay 200 $US for the bringing the car in to Egypt if the cylinder volume was more than 2.1 liter. Very expensive! After 45 minutes of negations we managed to convince them that our car had only a cylinder volume of 1.7 liter and as if by magic the fee was only 100 $US, plus insurance 10 $US, road tax 3 $US.

On top of that all foreign vehicles need to have Egyptian plates that they also charged us 15 $US for. Now our car is not GXG 815, it is ”worm, worm, worm and worm” that means 7536.

We also needed a visa for Egypt. We got the visa on the boat between Aqaba and Nuweiba, it was no problem at all. They charged us 15 $US per person for it.

We had now absolutely no cash left except for 4 $US. For this money we bought two beers. We felt that we had earned it after practically no sleep, five hours at the border, +35 degrees and sun, dirty, starving and thirsty.

We headed for Cairo crossing the Sinai dessert. We planed to get money in the nearest town along in. But unfortunately the petrol was finished before that. We stopped at a petrol station to fill the tank with petrol for our last money 1,5 $US, that gave us about 15 liter of petrol. We asked a fellow road-user about the nearest ATM machine and he explained it was 300 kilometers away. The man realized we were in a bad situation and said “No problem, fill it up. Let me treat you to this”. Very grateful we continued our trip though the Sinai dessert.

After an hour we stopped to eat the only thing the house could offer. Beer and biscuits because we still did not have any money to but food and by now we were starving.

Also in the Sinai desert there are plenty of check points. There is one in about every 50 kilometers.

The campsite in Cairo was impossible for us to find in to find in the dark. A man and his son on a motorbike came to out rescue and showed us the way though town. All the people that we meet are ever so nice and helpful! We do feel very welcome in all the Arabic countries.












2/10 Cairo, Egypt
Lat N 29° 58,18', Long E 31° 10,48'
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
02 Oct 2005
22428 km

Today prepared for Annelis arrival and threw away things we did not need and rearranged things to make room for her and her luggage.

At the camp site we met a couple from Denmark that had been traveling the world for five years and were now on their way home. Here is a link to their website; www.worldtour.dk




















3/10 Cairo, Egypt
Lat N 29° 58,18', Long E 31° 10,48'
Today: 91.4 °F ( +33 °C)
03 Oct 2005
22428 km

Today we checked out the pyramids and the sphinx. We were also riding a camel over the sand dunes in the blazing sun. Catharina even got to maneuver the camel by herself.

We bought our car to the pyramids and parked in front of the pyramids. A sniffer dog went trough our car and the guards confiscated our kitchen knife. We got it back on the way out.

At 2.39 PM we picked up Anneli at the airport. It was really good to see her again! We had decided to try to stay in the car all three of us. We will have to see how it works. If it gets too crowded we have to work something out.
















4/10 Cairo, Egypt
Lat N 29° 58,18', Long E 31° 10,48'
Today: 91.4 °F ( +33 °C)
04 Oct 2005
22428 km

To be three persons living in one square meter and sleeping in a bed of 1.40 meters demands planning, organization and certain rules of conduct outer wise we all go crazy. Today we had a briefing with Anneli of how things have to done.

Anneli who is a driving instructor for a living was completely freaked out by reckless in Cairo. We had really scary ride with a taxi in the rush hour today. In Cairo there is an unlimited market for body shops… or maybe not. Who cares about dents, they get new ones in a second.

We usually do not go to museums, but we made an exception for the Egyptian Museum and the treasures of the Tuttankamons and mummified cats.

Ramadan started today. That explains why it was hard to find a place to have lunch. The Muslims do not eat or drink anything until sun down during Ramadan.
















5/10 Cairo, Egypt
Lat N 29° 58,18', Long E 31° 10,48'
Today: 91.4 °F ( +33 °C)
05 Oct 2005
22428 km

This morning we went to Saruk el Camel – the camel market, about one hour taxi ride northwest of Cairo. Today it was only about 500 camels there. A normal camel is about 250 – 450 $US.

The cameleers are not nice to the camels at all. We could se that the camels hurt themselves, when they had to get up on the pick-up truck. One of the camels seemed to be a bit crazy and got loose from his cameleer. The camel went for Catharina and Anneli, who ran away in panic and hid behind a pick-up truck.

After that we went back to the camp site, took a shower, cooked lunch and got our things together to leave. The tap water here is only for doing dishes, laundry and showers. This means we have to buy water for cooking and other things, but it is cheep only 0,2 $US per 20 liters. There are men with a horse and carriage that go from house to house selling fresh water from big tanks. But for drinking we only use bottled water.

Fearless and cool – Bert took us though the insane Cairo traffic in the afternoon when we left for Suez. It is much better riding with Bert than those maniac taxi drivers.


















6/10 Suez, Egypt
Lat N 29° 57,65', Long E 32° 33,68'
Today: 98.6 °F ( +37 °C)
06 Oct 2005
22736 km

This is our first real day of travel with all three of us in the front seat. We went strait to Sharm-El-Sheik, a journey of 400 kilometers through the Sinai dessert.

At the Suez channel we saw the ships glide on the dessert sand . It was cool! At the channel we were not allowed to taken any photos, but Anneli managed to get one shoot from her hip with her pocket camera.

We continued south along the west coast of Sinai. It felt nice to be able to see the Red Sea most of the way. The sun and the heat were very trying with three persons crowding in the front seat and no air condition. Anneli who was not used to this kind of heat at all was totally exhausted.

Now and then during the past week we have heard some strange sounds coming from our car. Some kind of “knockings”. Now we think we know what it is – the petrol in these countries is only 90 octane!

Arrived in Sharm-El-Sheik right before sunset, and went strait to Café Sallomy´s. Sallomy is the daughter of the owner of the camp site in Cairo. Her father had told her that we were coming and she came out to greet us as we arrived. Even though it was ramadan she served us a nice cold beer . After a long hot day in the car that was perfect! As soon as the sun was set Sallomy and her staff sat down to have the first meal and first drink of the day. We got invited to share the meal with them and to smoke the water pipe afterwards. We tried both ordinary tobacco and apple flavor. Later in the evening Sallomy took us for a tour around town .














7/10 Sharm-El-Sheik, Egypt
Lat N 27° 52,99', Long E 34° 18,27'
Today: 100.4 °F ( +38 °C)
07 Oct 2005
23137 km

Finally, after several hot dusty and polluted days in Cairo we got to take a swim in the Red Sea; our first swim in the red Sea. Sharm-El-Sheik is a typical package-tour town with big hotels and everything here is about scuba diving and snorkeling.

Everyone is all shook up about this summers bombing here in Sharm-El-Sheik. There are lots of checkpoints with snifferdogs and all of the bigger hotels and the entrance to downtown Old market has metal detectors. It feels good and it´s for our own safety.

Later in the evening we continued to Dahab, a 100 km trip up north. We stopped in the middle of the desert to watch the most incredible star scenery. We agreed that we never seen anything like it. It was stunning.












8/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 96.8 °F ( +36 °C)
08 Oct 2005
23279 km

Dahab is located in the Aqaba bay in Red Sea. It´s smaller, cozier and cheaper than Sharm-El-Sheik and better suited for us who are “wild unorganized tourists”. The atmosphere is laid back and most of the visitors often intend to stay much longer than they first planned. We have rented a nice bungalow with shower and air condition for 10 $ including car park right outside our door.

Scuba diving and windsurfing are the big activities around here. However, Anneli and Catharina can guarantee that beach life in the lagoon in the luxury-hotels-area is something extraordinary too. We managed to melt in at Hotel Hiltons beachside for a really nice day without getting caught.

Bert on the other hand had a terrible day. With fever and a bad stomach he spent most of the day in bed. He was still lucky; with access to both computer and Internet his day was not so bad after all. This is actually the first time on our journey when someone is in such a bad shape that he had to stay home.














9/10 Dahab, Egypten
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 95 °F ( +35 °C)
09 Oct 2005
23279 km

Bert stayed in bed today as well even though he felt a little bit better. Anneli and Catharina tried the Hilton beach again but this time with less luck. Security sent us away after a couple of hours. Full of embarrassment we moved to the beach next door. There we had to show ID and pay 9$ per person, but at least we got to stay.

In the evening Bert was feeling good enough to join us for dinner. There are a lot of cozy restaurants to choose from, but some of them do not serve alcohol because of Ramadan. That is usually not a problem. They don’t mind if you bring your own beer to the restaurant.












10/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
10 Oct 2005
23279 km

We spent the day at the beach reading Deepak Chopras book ”Perfect Health”, and trying to figure out if we were Vata-, Pitta- or Kapha personalities – or a combination of these. It is a book about the very interesting ancient Indian Ayurveda medicine.

Our bodies also got their share today by a water aerobics work out. It felt great.

During the trip we have realized that we have a great deal of readers that we do not know. We like it a lot is when we get joyous acclamations by e-mails or SMS messages from these readers. Today we got an SMS from Annika Andersson from Finnspång in Sweden. We had not updated our website for a while and she was worried that we were in Pakistan where it had been an earthquake a few days ago.

Take a look at the device attached to the air condition unit in our room. Mr Bert McGyver has constructed a beer and water cooler . Excellent!


















11/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
11 Oct 2005
23279 km

Bert has recovered completely from his stomach complaint and today we went snorkeling at the Blue Hole, five kilometers north of Dahab. It was a really nice snorkeling spot by the shore with a lot of beautiful fish and corals right below the surface.

The evenings here tends to feel very long and dark. It gets dark already before six PM and we no party animals so we usually go to bed early. But tonight we had a late night out barhopping and playing billiards for a change.












12/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
12 Oct 2005
23279 km

Today has been a day full of work. Catharina has spent the day writing an article for her local newspaper Dagbladet. This was not easy. How do you fit four months of intense experiences of traveling in 1 500 words?

Bert on the other hand met a man who used to work in Sweden in the 1950ies. He helped Bert with some small adjustments on the car. He also told us an interesting thing; that it only rains one day a year here in Sinai. Anneli worked with solving Sudoku and reading gossip magazines. She also provided us with really important knowledge: Sweden made it to the football World Championship!












13/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
13 Oct 2005
23279 km

Today we have been on the beach for most of the day. Bert joined us. He came late and wanted to leave first as usual. In the evening we went asking around for scuba diving. We compared prices, courses and dive sites. There are a lot of dive centers in Dahab and we wanted to find someone serious. The choice fell on Deep Blue Divers, a five star PADI dive center. Bert and Catharina decided to take an Open Water Advanced course so that they can dive deeper and at more exciting places in the future. Anneli have already done that course but will hang along so that we can do the dives together.

Since it was at least five years ago since any of us did a dive, we decided to do a refreshment dive tomorrow. The Advanced course will cost us 180 € including five dives and also the refreshment dive. That seemed like a good price – for same price as six dives we also got to learn something more and have an instructor. Great!
















14/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
14 Oct 2005
23279 km

It was a lot of theory that we needed to go through after a five year dive break. We spent this morning at a restaurant having breakfast and reading. Everyday children hang around trying to sell home made bracelets and even though you know they probably are from very poor families it sometimes gets annoying .

In the afternoon we had a class with our dive instructor Laura from Canada. After that it was time to enter the water at the Dahab Light house to do safety skills. We emptied the mask under water, trained to find the regulator if we would loose it by accident and we also did some buoyancy skills. After that we went for a short dive.
















15/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
15 Oct 2005
23279 km

Today Bert and Catharina started the Advanced Open Water Diver course. We did two dives today, both at the Light house which are a good spot for practicing skills.

The first dive theme was underwater navigation. We got a compass and trained to dive in a rectangle. We measured how far our fen kick cycles took us and how far we normally swam in a given time. Laura was smiling a lot at Berts mini fen kicks which hardly got him nowhere. All these skills are ways to navigate under water.

As a final test we did topographic navigation. Laura pointed out a spot then she took us for a 15 minutes dive. The task was to bring her back to the actual spot by navigating with the help of the sun, the bottom conditions and coral formations.

When the training was over Laura handed over her underwater camera to Bert. He thought he died and got to heaven! He was totally absorbed by this the rest of the dive.

“Peak Performance Buoyancy” was the theme of the afternoon dive. The exercises were really fun to do. After safety; buoyancy is the most useful skill in diving. Catharina had some problems in the beginning, but at the end of the dive both of us ”hovered” peacefully without any problems. As a final test Laura put her diver’s knife in the sand and told us to “hover” over it and gently put our nose against the handle without touching the sand. That was no problem at all. It was great fun!

Tired and satisfied with today’s diving we rinsed our equipmen t in fresh water. As you can see saltwater does not do much good for your hair . We called our instructor the goat . She spend a lot of time in the water and that damages her hair tremendously – it looks and feels like goats hair.




















16/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
16 Oct 2005
23279 km

There are a lot of beautiful, sleek, long legged and big eared EEgyptian cats here. Every time we visit a restaurant we are at least four at the table but usually we are more than that. The cats have there “own” restaurants that they frequently visit.

After doing half the course we thought it was time for a “ fun dive ” with Anneli . We went to Moray reef and Three pools reef which are a 30 minutes drive south. Our instructor Laura joined us as Dive Master. It was two relaxed dives. Between the dives we had some time to study.

This two dives Bert really was in heaven. He got the underwater camera for the whole day. He shot over 100 pictures at fishes , corals and even a moray . Luckily it’s a digital camera. Since water absorbs color the colors disappear the deeper we get. The most beautiful scenery is from the surface down to ten meters in direct sunlight.

We got back to Dahab early so Bert and Catharina decided to do the night dive. It is a dive included in the Advanced course. The place was set to Light house because we had been there before and it is interesting to see how a dive site changes in dark.

It is much harder to get the gear together, gear up and get in the water when it’s dark. During the dive we had a torch and a luminous compass. It was not that hard or frightening as we thought. But there was a surprisingly small amount of fish which is explained by the fact that fish also sleeps at night. Catharina was totally fascinated by a well camouflaged octopus that we followed for a long time.
















17/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
17 Oct 2005
23279 km

The fourth dive of the course was a 30 meters deep dive. This dive was at the Canyon, a thin and deep underwater canyon. To dive The Canyon you need an Advanced certificate. A big reason why Bert and Catharina took the course in the first place, was to get to dive here. And we were not disappointed at all when we got here!

We hovered over the sand bottom of the canyon at 30 meters depth, looked up the coral walls at the small opening at the top. The water above was in deep turquoise color and a few rays of light found its way down coral walls to where we were. It was incredibly beautiful and super cool to be there!

Deep down in the canyon we did a counting skill to prove how our brains get affected by the depth. Catharina felt the nitrogen narcoses; she looked really stupid trying to get the numbers together by counting Lauras fingers. Anneli laughed so hard that she almost lost her regulator. Later Laura cracked a raw egg which we played ping pong with.

The last dive of the course was a multilevel dive that we did at the Blue Hole. The enter was real cool, a two meter wide and 20 meter deep coral cleft that took us out to the reef wall. Catharinas task was to keep track of the depth and Berts task was to keep track of the time. We finished the dive swimming straight over the Blue Hole. It was like being in the middle of universe without any reference at all.

After the last dive we did the remaining paperwork at the pub. We had a well earned beer and our Open Water Advanced certificates!




















18/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
18 Oct 2005
23279 km

This morning we were woken up by a German couple who had bicycled to Thailand, bought a Tuk-tuk and were now heading home. They had managed to pass the border without getting the Egyptian plates. They wanted to talk to us and compare the documents from the toll. They had realized that they probably would get in big trouble leaving the country without the plates. We thought they were really cool making this long journey in a Tuk-tuk. We might end up doing the same thing on our next journey…

After four days of intensive studying it was nice to spend a day at the beach. As usual there were a lot of windsurfers and canoeists. Anneli took the opportunity to bay watch.

We booked a trip to Mount Sinai – according to the bible it was at this place Moses got the Ten Commandments. The plan was to see the sun rise at the top. We left Dahab 11.30 PM and two hours later we started the walk up the 2 285 meters mountain.




















19/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
19 Oct 2005
23279 km

The climbing took three hours on rocky and winding paths. You could ride a camel if you wanted but we are not that kind of people. Even if it was a tough walk, it was nice because of the full moon. The mountain was bathing in the silvery moonshine.

The higher we climbed the colder it got. It did not matter as long as we were walking but when we reached the top it was only +8 degrees Celsius and very windy. We had not brought enough clothes and we were almost freezing to death. We took shelter at a windshield were they served Bedouin tee, coffee and hot chocolate and waited for the sunrice in there.

Just before we reached the top we heard the sound of high heeled shoes clattered aginst the rocks. We joked about it but just a moment later a Russian Barbie appeared in here sparkeling high heeled Barbie sandals .

Just in time for the sun rise we rented two camel smelling blankets and went out to sit on a cliff. It was crowded with freezing tourists absolutely everywere.

Very tired and cold we went down the mountain. It took us two hours. On the way we passed St Katrines Monastery and had a look at Moses burning bush which is inside. Two hours later we fell into bed and slept the whole afternoon.














20/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
20 Oct 2005
23279 km

Now we have been here in Dahab for two weeks and it’s actually the longest stop we had so far. Anyway, it feels like its time to continue our journey. The word that goes around says that even if your plan was to stay just a couple of days in Dahab, it often ends up being for weeks and even months. We couldn’t agree more!

We spent the day getting ready to leave by cleaning the car, changing cheats, doing laundry and update the diary. Our trainee Anneli is helping out with the translation, it is good with a little support!

In the evening we had dinner with the Tuk-tuk travelers Daniel and Susi . 30 000 km in a Tuk-tuk leaves its marks. Take a look at Daniels hand.

Here in Sinai it is salt water in the taps which we now are used to. When we got the laundry back from the launderette it was all salty and rough, not very nice at all.


















21/10 Dahab, Egypt
Lat N 28° 29,47', Long E 34° 30,89'
Today: 80.6 °F ( +27 °C)
21 Oct 2005
23279 km

Left Dahab at lunchtime for an 80 km drive to Neuweba. We stopped at the carwash to rinse the desert dust off the car. We also filled up the car; the petrol here is really cheap.

When we got to the ferry it was really crowded, and we heard that some of them had waited as long as a week to get on the ferry. It is high season right now because of Ramadan and many people wanted to go to Mekka in Saudi Arabia. The tickets were sold out and the office was closed. This didn’t look too good.

Somehow we managed to get inside the gates of the ferry terminal in spite of the fact that we didn’t have any tickets and a rigorous security. Luckily we ran in to our helpful tourist policeman again and helped us through the same enormous paperwork again… amongst other things we needed to carbon copy our chassinumber for one of the documents. After that we had to wait for the ticket office to open at 8 PM.

As usual our car is a great success and a lot of curious people drop by to have a look. Bert got invited for tea by a family at the harbor. At the same time he was offered the opportunity to bring one of the daughters home to Sweden. But he thinks one wife is more than enough…