Dan: Claire is moe (Dutch for tired), cos she got too pissed on free wine on the weird night out we had last night...more later on that. So you're stuck with me! (Claire just read this and says 'I wasn't pissed!')
So how was five star livin' in Aqaba...well great!!! I barely left the room in five days, aircon on cold and the TV on crappy movies all day. Claire loved the beach and read books in the sun...might have already written this before.
Anyway, money doesn't grow on trees and we had to leave the hotel and take the ferry to Egypt and the task of cycling across the Sinai Desert. The ferry was mental busy, but great fun and we were really excited about the coming few days of cycling and the unknown of the desert road ahead. It's the good thing about being so disorganised...we have no idea what's coming. However, this almost ended in a mini-disaster when we tried to take a Sinai 'shortcut' through a mountain road with no water for 2 days cycling...we didn't know there was no water (and had 2 litres between us). Thankfully the jolly nice Egyptian police said the road was closed, so we cycled up the coast road back towards Jordan and Israel instead. A detour, but ok and with lots of water and food.
Once we got up on to the high Sinai plateau it was amazing, but just nothing there! We cycled for 6 more days across the desert to Cairo, sometimes having to carry 9 litres of water each and food for a few days. The sand just gets everywhere and i mean everywhere. It was really hard at times, but well worth it and we both think of those days as one of the true highlights of the trip. On the way we met two super nice Dutch motorcyclists, who are travelling down into Africa (they've got a cool website http://www.polarsteps.com/jambo)
So we finally reached the Suez canal and got chucked on a local truck by the police to cross through the tunnel and cycled into Cairo...which because of the Eid holidays wasn't as mental as we'd feared. That’s until we got to the Downtown area and some little shit kid stabbed me with a stick and then another tried to push me off my bike. The next kid to annoy me is getting an ass kicking!!!! :o)
But for the most part the people in Cairo and Egypt as a whole are amazing, we really like it here. Such a nice change from Jordan. Yeah they still try and over charge you for everything, but it seems ok here...even nice in a way :o)
We've been spending a good bit of time with Niek and Karin (Dutch motorcyclists), which has been cool. Good to spend time with like minded people and swop ideas. We've even got a new trip idea (several years away though).
So, last night...we met Nick and Karen for cake in a Costa coffee and then went to a random Lebanese restaurant for beers. It was a nice quite night, just a few beers, and I'm not drinking as i'm on antibiotics (not had a solid poop since Syria...maybe not a good sign). Anyway, randomly a Finnish motorcyclist who knew Niek and Karin walk by us and said he'd bumped into an american media type in the street with a massive BMW motorbike. Turns out that this american had posted a comment about motor biking in the middle east that the Finnish guy had used to plan his trip. Anyway, the American, a Texan, invited us to a private dinner club. So we said ok… the club was hidden away at the top of a residential building in Garden City, a middle-class area of Cairo where many foreign embassies are (with, not surprisingly, a very heavy security detail). A Sudanese waiter welcomed us into the vast, sumptuous flat decorated in art deco style. It used to belong to Hoda Shaarawi, an Egyptian feminist leader, born in 1879, who wrote poetry in Arabic and French, and was the first Egyptian woman to remove her veil in public, in 1923. It turns out it’s a big meeting place for beautiful crowd in Cairo, particularly media types. To cut this long story short we spent the evening talking to a brain surgeon and some for bigwigs from Al Jazeera and other Arab news thingies and it was all free…well we left without paying…think thats ok though? A very surreal night when you’ve been sleeping in the desert for a week and not washing etc etc.
I’ll shut up now! Think we’ve got our Sudan visa too :o) We can pick it up tomorrow and start cyling along the Nile.
Dan (and the now sleeping Claire Zzzzzz)
ps new picture too and we saw the pyramids