With no real itinerary we got on the road just after midday and arrived at St Catherine’s Monastery 3 hours after closing time. Then we were informed by one of the Police officers on one of the many random check points on Egypt’s roads that Caz would have problems travelling on to Cairo with us as she didn’t have a full VISA issued at the airport, and only a free one valid in Sinai.
The closest place we could get one from was Nuweiba Port where we had entered by sea the previous day, so Nathan and Caz decided to try and get the VISA that night, whilst I drove around trying to find a campsite.
We had arranged to meet back at the port at a certain time, but in trying to find the campsite, I bumped into two other travellers looking for the same place, and we spent an hour trying to find the place. When we eventually did, I booked us in for the night and returned to pick up Nathan and Caz, who by this time were worried something bad had happened.
We spent the evening chatting to a guy called Robert from Belgium who after poor health had quit his work, sold his house and decided to travel the world ‘following his nose’ on his motorbike for the foreseeable future. The guy was a legend, and I hope we meet more people like him on the trip.
We set off early to arrange a VISA for Caz, and after an hour, everything was sorted and we were on the road to Cairo. The intention was to camp somewhere outside of the capital, and we arrived in a town called Ismailia at a petrol station whose owner invited us in for a cup of tea telling us camping was impossible, but could direct us to a cheap hotel in the town.
Following his instructions we arrived at a run down hotel where little English was spoken, but already after 10 minutes waiting in reception next to the hotel café, we had been offered tea, coffee and hashish! The rooms we checked into were the most run down I’ve ever seen, but for 85EGP/€8.50/£7.60 per night for the three of us, we weren’t complaining.
Egypt were playing in the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations that night, and we decided to stay and watch it on the big screen set up in the hotel. After every Egyptian goal or Algerian red card, the Egyptians and us went wild, and by the end the score was 4-0 to Egypt with Algeria only having 8 men on the pitch.
Whilst in the hotel we met a local called Romana who drove us around the streets of Ismailia at 60mph/110kph celebrating with the Egyptians and setting off fireworks in the centre of the town. This was the most random night of the trip so far.
- David Jennings & Nathan Topham
- Wrexham, Wales, United Kingdom
- For the past 5 years, me and my best friend Nathan have talked about the possibility of travelling around the world by land and sea, and so finally we have a route, savings and time to set off around the world. What we are doing is living out a dream, a dream we share with many people worldwide, a dream of travelling this vast, diverse, beautiful and interesting planet, but unlike the many others who keep it as a dream, we have the tenacity to make this dream a reality.