A few months back I came across details of a ride across Egypt and decided to give it a try. Most of my friends (and my wife) told me I was mad to be going there - 'It's dangerous, you'll get attacked by terrorists' was the usual response. And then I said I was riding a scooter and their replies generally changed to 'YOU WILL DIE !!!' Cross Egypt Challenge Cross Egypt Challenge, a 2400 km scooter ride throughout Egypt for 2012 was a 2,400 km ride through Egypt on 150cc Sym scooters with the aim of promoting tourism in Egypt. I have to say I was hooked as soon as I saw the details of the trip - off went my application email and i was one of the lucky 15 foreign riders to be accepted for a place - apparently they had over 200 applications ! Our route covered some 2,400 km - starting from Cairo, Egypt's capital and the home of the famous Tahrir square, then north to the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria at the shoes of the Mediterranean before heading west towards the city of Marsa Matrouh. We then headed down towards the fascinating Sahara desert where we would ride between Egypt's 5 famous oasis, Siwa, Bahareya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga before reaching the legendary city of Luxor; the world's largest open-air museum, where we were to end our long and tiring journey in front of the magnificent temple of Karnak. Wednesday 10 October Day 1 - well it was for me. An early start to get the flight from Jersey to Gatwick and then the coach across from Gatwick to Heathrow. I was flying with BA from Terminal 5 - I know Terminal 5 has been operating for some time but as I am not a regular flyer this was only the second time I have been through there - it was an impressive setup and not very crowded. But I could not drop my bags off more than 3 hours before the flight to Cairo so I had to spend a bit of time sat around waiting. It was a good flight with BA-food is way better than those budget airlines. Flight time about 4 hours getting into Cairo about 11.30 pm so it was quite a long first day. I met up with the only other UK participant over a beer (or two) at Heathrow when we got into Cairo we were by Koree, one of the organisers, who was determined to capture our arrival and initial thoughts of Egypt on film. Then had a pretty hair raising taxi ride into the hotel. Lights are optional on the road and hazard lights do nothing more than warn other drivers 'I'm coming through' - but then most of the cars have their hazard lights on all the time. Apparently traffic was light as we headed to the hotel but we still passed signs of two recent accidents in the 10 mile trip. And yes -if you leave 3 inches between your car and the one along side you it is possible to go 5 abreast on a 3 lane highway ! Driving is on the right here but overtaking seems to be done any side ! Thursday 11 October View from our hotel Today was our first chance to catch up with some of the other riders and the organisers. Met a couple over breakfast and ended up going to the Egyptian Museum with Wally and Manny. Wally is from Canada and Manny is originally from Nigeria but now living in the US. There are participants from 10 different countries taking part in this trip including the UK, Germany, US, Argentina, Canada, Denmark to name a few. Went out for a walk and within minutes came across 'road rage' Egyptian style - a car driver was busy remonstrating with a group of pedestrians about how they crossed the road...... The Egyptian museum was interesting - got a local to guide us at the ridiculous cost of less than £4 (shared between 4 of us) for a 1 hour tour. Lots of interesting info and insight into what was on display and the significance of it. Egyptian Museum The story and background to the tomb of Tutankhamen was useful but the sheer quantity and size of the artefacts recovered was stunning. As was the quantity of gold on display - I dread to think of the values involved ! And given that the lack of security was surprising. Stuff like Tutankhamen's sarcophagus was on display inside a wooden framed glass cabinet and we could stand right next to it. In the UK there would have been barriers to hold us 10 feet back and a security guard on hand to keep us in line ! No photos allowed inside the museum (cameras had to be handed in before entry) so no pictures I am afraid. We had a briefing meeting with the organisers this afternoon when they outlined a lot of info on the ride. Looks like it will be tough. There is one section where we probably won't have phone signal for about 2 days as we cross the western desert. And what I expected to be unmade roads is largely sand -about 300 km of it....... Sunset over Cairo Dinner for everyone at Nile City. A floating restaurant on the Nile. Good Italian style food and very busy. It was an early start the next day so we all got an early night.