Friday, January 16, 2009

Up the Nile

The Nile river flows north, so going up the nile means you are travelling south and southern Egypt is called Upper Egypt. Today we are having a rest day in Luxor, a good sized city on the nile. It's very nice here, I like it much more that Cairo or Giza. Wandered in to the market here last night after dinner. Most of the streets here are lit and it seems very safe, even at night. I quickly moved out of teh the "vanilla" or tourist market and into the "Egyptian Market" where things are much cheaper, people are much nicer, and you don't get hassled by begging kids or vendors. You pay about 8 egyptian pounds for falefel in the tourist area, you pay 1 pound for it in teh Egyptian market (if you barter properly) This moring we checked out the spice section of the market, tons of great spices: fennel, cardamon, cumin, tamarind... you name it... smells wonderfull down there. Bartering here seems easier than in Zambia. more relaxed. But they do get insulted if your first price is way to low so you have to have some idea of thecost before hand. Tomorrow we head to Idfu, then Aswan (we get to ride across the Aswan Damn! - no one else can). Then it is 24 hrs on a ferry up the nile to Wadi Halfa in Sudan. Our trucks have to go on a separate Ferry so we'll wait for them there before pedallingtowards Khartoum.

Some Smatterings from my journal:

...bikes. A custom Thorn with a 14 sp Rohloff. Serval bikes have Rohloff hubs on them, including the full suspension recumbent. I'm pretty sure the recumbent guy will not be able to cycle the whole route, based uponwhat I've seen so far. The poprad is riding solid and the specialied tires are bomber. No flats yet, though many people on the tour have not been so fortunate.

... rode in overlander #2, the lunch truck. Passed the riders at km 12 and drove on to km 68 where we set up iin teh desert for lunch. Todays feast was african poloni on pita bread, peanut butter, jam and bananas. Much easier than the egg salad yesterday. Peeling 150 boiled eggs was a bit tedious. I'd much rather slice poloni...

... manned the refreshment stop at km 133 today, which also served as the finish line for todays stage. Weird being dropped in the middle of nowhere with a box of bananas, jerry can of water, a chair and a giant flag that says "finish". At least I can see the Red Sea from here... day today to I rode the whole day. A bit hung over from the beers with Vimpie, these egyptian stellas are strong. Ride was great though, and finishing up at the TOubia hotel and camping on the red sea was brilliant.

" A fool throws a stone into the sea and 1000 wise men can not pull it out" Cypriot Proverb

"There is no charge for the Awesomness" Kung Fu Panda

...conrtasts. The last three days have been thru the desert, no people, no towns, no water. Now as we enter Qena and return to the Nile Valley population has exploded and there are green fields everywhere...

New pics are up on picassa. I'll try get more up before I go (I've taken 800 pics already -can you belive it?) Once we hit the Sudan I may not have internets access, or beer access :( , til we reach Addis Ababa in 30 days. Hopfully I will find something in Khartoum though.


keef said...

Killer pics bro'!
Show us more of the support truck.
& your local folks pics are amazing.
I'd be glad to help you get all this into a lulu book, etc. I'd buy one!
Wish we were there!

AucillaSinks said...

Nice update Paul! Great shots too.
I'm so glad you're documenting your African Tour on this on the blog and google maps.

Your roomate is the Tech guy so no excuses for blackout periods. ;-)