Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by aurel, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Hello mates,

    Here are some pics of the first part of my last trip, I hope you'll enjoy :thumb

    But before the pics I (and my gf) would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Leila & Andrea, a nice couple of adventurers from Italia who invited us for a last night of holidays in their house in Bologna. They made the end of our trip perfect :thumb See you my friends :freaky

    Let's go !

    As most of my trips the story begins with a boat, from Marseille in France to Tunis in Tunisia.

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    The departure offered me a great view of Marseille.

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    Then of course I had to deal with the Tunisian customs, long but easy, mostly compare to what I'll have to deal with during the rest of the trip...

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    At least the trip had really started after this, let's cross Tunisia in direction of Libya!

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    I took the road that follows the coast, crossing some nice village and enjoying my time with locals etc.

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    The Tunisian countryside is very quiet and it's a nice place for riding.

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    There are thousands and thousands olives trees field along the road with many locals selling olive oil on the road side.

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    I was still driving in direction of Libya.

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    The place started to get more dry as I was going south to the doors of the desert.

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    In a village I found a nice motorcycle workshop :thumb

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    But I had to drive, my gf was arriving by plane in Cairo one week later, so I had to be over there on time to pick up her at the airport.

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    I went to the Island of Djerba by boat for one night but it was not so nice, too many tourists, too expensive, etc...

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    That was the end of the few twisties I found...

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    But at least I was on the good road ! :D

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    Now it's time to cross Libya in direction of Egypt.

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    #1
  2. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

    Joined:
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    Let's continue this story with Libya. I had only a transit visa for Libya so I had to stay on the coastal road, not allowed to go south to see the desert. If you want to visit Libya you have to pay a Libyan guide that will come with you during your trip, it's pretty expensive...

    At the border I got a new licence plate for the bike, in arabic.

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    As it was lunch time when I entered Libya I stopped in the first village I crossed to have a break. That's where I met my first Libyan people (except the customs officiers at the border).

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    They were very nice and offered me a lunch :thumb

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    Then I went to the city of Tripoli (Tarabulus) which is quite nice, large avenues, nice buildings, a lot of trees, etc. But it had no real charm compare to some others middle-east city I've been before...

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    So I kept driving to find a small hotel in a village where the manager was very nice, he took me in his car for a sigthseeing tour of the area (not so much things to see...).

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    It's really hard to find a place to stay in Libya as everything is wrote in arabic, even the signs "HOTEL" on the building are wrote in arabic...

    And the coastal road is boring, 2500km straight...

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    There are many road side stops where you can have a coke, a sandwich, etc.

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    Many camels are crossing the road and they are really not afraid by cars or bus...

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    Even if it's straight 99% of the time,

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    Sometimes you have to take a decision on where to turn and without a GPS it could be quite complicated.

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    I forgot also, every 50km there are police/military check points where you're asked to show your passport, the bike papers, your luggage sometimes, etc...

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    The best thing in Libya is the price of the fuel... 1euro = full tanks!

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    After 2500km I was getting close to Egypt... :clap

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    On the top of these hills it's the border :clap

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    But when you arrive at the Libyan side of the border you're told that the office that collect the arabic plates you get when entering in the country was 10km before in a small village... so you're offered to leave your bike here and to take a ride in a brand new car with customs officiers to get to that office...

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    I'm out of Libya now, let cross the Egyptian side of the border... or at least I'm going to try to...
    #2
  3. Pumpy

    Pumpy Exiled Pumpernickel

    Joined:
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    Great start, Aurel, keep it coming! :clap

    :lurk
    #3
  4. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

    Joined:
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    I'm in Egypt! Or I would better say I'm at the border... he took me 26h to enter the country... it's so expensive to enter the country with a bike (around 80euros) that I was out of money to pay for all the papers.

    So I had to leave the bike at the customs, do 250km with sheeps at the rear of a truck, go to a bank to get money, take a bus to get back to the village near the border then take a taxi to the borders.

    Egyptian customs are horrible, it's a f***ing mess!!! Nobody speak english, nobody tells you what you have to do, their are offices everywhere but no indications on where to go, all the papers are in arabic and it's crowded like hell...

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    First view of Egypt.

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    I was suppose to go south in the desert to the Oasis of Siwa but I was such bored by all the time I lost at the customs and it was so late in the afternoon that I did 600km to get to Alexandria where I have some family. I had a good rest and I started to enjoy my stay in Egypt with my family waiting for my gf to arrive in Cairo.

    I've been many times to Egypt but I always like to visit again and again the place I know like the Alexandria Library.

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    I also took a few hours to do an oil change so that we won't have to do anything on the bike for the rest of the trip.

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    Then the day I was waiting for arrived, my gf was in the plane from Paris to Cairo :clap

    So I took the desert highway to Cairo.

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    And arrived in one of the most crowded and polluted city of the world...

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    Many bikers in Cairo.

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    In the evening I went to the airport and picked up my gf and guess where we've been on the next morning to start the day ? :D

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    #4
  5. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

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    We took many shots that morning especially for my dealer which is supporting me for my trips :thumb

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    I tried to take some shots that shows how tall are these pyramids.

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    Then we drove south along the Nile river to others pyramids less famous but still very nice to visit.

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    It's hard to tell with that picture how tall is that one :

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    But believe me it's huge!

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    #5
  6. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    Frontpage !
    And this picture defines you, Mr K, so well !!!!!
    :clap
    awesome !
    /thierry
    #6
  7. the venturer

    the venturer Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Thrace and Istanbul
    Hi Aurel.I hoped to have heard of you while passing through here.,but no response.Nice trip.Keep it coming....
    #7
  8. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

    Joined:
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    I forgot to introduce you my gf, Roxy, she has been very very brave during that trip as you will see later :bow :bow :bow

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    After that exhausting day (very hot) in Cairo we went back to Alexandria to find some fresh air along the sea.

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    We spent a full day enjoying the beach and having some good time before the rest of the trip.

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    As we were short on time for that trip we had to leave the West side of the Red Sea to go in Sinai, in direction of Jordan.

    Sinai is awesome! But as usual we didn't had the time to see everything.

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    We decided to have some rest in Sinai. That was the first "adventure" for my gf so I was trying to go easy. This beach was awesome for diving and snorkeling :clap Many fish with all the sizes, the shapes, the colors you can imagine.

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    Roxy was really enjoying Middle-East :rofl

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    Too much enjoying it! :D

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    #8
  9. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

    Joined:
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    We were in a hurry in Turkey, quite late on our planning so we had to skip Istanbul :cry :cry :cry But we'll be in your area on our way to our next destination :clap
    #9
  10. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

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    I ordered a big printed version of that picture that we'll put in our house, as you said it defines me quite well :thumb

    See u Thierry :freaky
    #10
  11. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

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    After that good day of rest we had to go East to Nuweiba, to catch a ferry for Jordan.

    One more time the road was very nice.

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    In case you wouldn't know what you're looking at... :D

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    The black rocks of the moutains and the yellow sand make a nice contrast IMHO.

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    Yes, we love Sinai!

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    Then we reached the East side of the Red Sea.

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    On the left the harbor of Nuweiba, let's get out Egypt and visit Jordan!

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    Actually it took us 6h to buy the ticket and to do all the papers for the bike before being allowed to exit Egypt...

    The boat was supposed to leave at 3pm but it left at 9pm... quite a long delay for a 1h ride...

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    Once in the harbor of Aqaba, Jordan, the captain told us that as we were very late there was no space left to park the boat... so we had to wait until midnight for a boat to leave... Egypt... :dog
    #11
  12. OnlyVees

    OnlyVees Moto-journalist

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    Thank you for sharing your journey! Call it The Long Way Down- ADV style. Unlike those other blokes, you're riding the right machine...














    :hide
    #12
  13. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

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    1 o'clock in the morning, we're out of the customs, free to ride in Jordan!

    So now, where do we go ? Hum... let's go for Petra! It's only 150km from here so we could be in our bed at 3am :D

    After many twisties by night we arrived in Petra and slept for hours and hours... on the next morning (we woke up at 1pm) we thought we could leave or stuff at the hotel and go to visit Wadi Rumm in the South.

    That was a good idea... it was AWESOME!

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    Tomorrow morning we'll go to Petra at 6am to visit the place alone :lurk
    #13
  14. kahoon

    kahoon who's yer daddy??

    Joined:
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    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap

    Outstanding!! Keep it coming :thumb

    I won't post my pic from Petra until you do the honors first! I was there in '05
    <br><br><br>
    #14
  15. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

    Joined:
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    Thanks :lol3

    So here are the pics from Petra. The early wake up was a good idea, we walked for 6hours in Petra almost alone. When we left around 1pm the place was crowded with asian tourists everywhere, a nightmare to enjoy the site...

    Perfect, we're at the good place, that's Petra :rofl

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    I never thought Petra was so huge, you have to work a lot in the canyons to visit all the place.

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    The sun was playing with us in the canyons but it was not too hot, perfect to enjoy the place.

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    It's awesome to see what these people do with only a few tools... a giant water delivery system all around the site :eek1

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    And now the pic you all know...

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    But have you already saw that temple with a stupid french guy trying to wake up a camel in front of it ? :shog

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    Still along the canyons we went to more and more awesome places.

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    Then we started a 800 stairs clibbimg to reach the hightest temple of the site.

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    Before leaving we took some fresh drinks to give us time to realize all the wonders we saw since the beginning of the trip...

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    Just for your curiosity here is a picture of Petra from the moutains, you would never imagine there are such wonders hidden in these canyons.

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    #15
  16. kahoon

    kahoon who's yer daddy??

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    :evil:evil:evil:evil

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    #16
  17. xdbx

    xdbx Motorcycle Connoisseur

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    Oh la la! Fantastic stuff! It's really beautiful how you got to enjoy such a vacation with your girlfriend. Please keep posting! I'm enjoying this immensly
    #17
  18. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    @Kahoon
    (french)
    non, ne me dit pas que tu es le gars avec le Tshirt avec GS dans le dos ! :D
    (/french)
    I know, I know, u're from toronto so u're not supposed to understand french. ;)

    @aurel
    we are all waiting for the remaining pictures !
    More, please !!
    :clap

    /thierry
    #18
  19. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

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    So after the visit of Petra we thought we could have a swim in the Dead Sea.

    The view was still looking like the Petra area on the road.

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    There was some great twisties (not on that pic) but the road was a bit slippy...

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    After the moutains we arrived at the depression of the Dead Sea. On this pic my bike is at altitude 0. The Dead Sea is around -400m under sea level. On the other side of this depression it's Israel.

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    When we went down it's was crazy, around 48 celsius degree :eek1

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    On the Israel side it was looking like this :

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    And on the Jordan side :

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    Anyway after some military check points (they look on nerves in this area) we arrived at the sea.

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    For those who skipped geography at school... :D

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    Now let's go for a swim !
    #19
  20. aurel

    aurel Cheese&Wine!

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    In the Dead Sea the concentration of salt per liter is higher than in any other sea so you "float" more than ever. It's quite surprising, really a new sensation.

    (Yes I look like an idiot on these pics!)

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    Enough pics of me :D

    The beach is not that nice, the ground is almost only salt and it really hurts your feet when you walk... and every body was looking at Roxy as she was the only female in bikini :shog

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    One more thing, the access to the beach was quite expensive, around 10euros... I hate to pay for natural things, for a museum ok but for a beach... :dog

    Now let's eat something typical (:D) and then we will go to Syria by night :lurk

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    #20