Michnus & Elsebie Piki-Piki Around the World.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    :thumb
  2. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Thank you,
    It is also what makes it so rewarding to travel in Africa. It is so different with so much diversity and cultures it can never be boring. :thumb
  3. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    The clay has magical powers. Water is safe to drink and always cool and it never goes empty....struush promise! :lol3

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    the fuckall is growing wild here!

    Luckily the turn off to Adbarah took us off the main road and into the Bayudha desert towards Merowe, a town to the north west. Just outside Adbarah we were stopped at a makeshift road block. The friendly men ask us our route and then asked us if we are sure we want to take this route as it goes through the desert.

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    Dried up pumpkins blown around the desert like ping pong balls.

    There would be no help if one of the bikes should break we might have to sit it out for quite some time before we would encounter people. For us there was nothing to think about, that was going to be the route and since it was still early morning we had enough time to make Merowe by midday.

    Midway a roadside ‘oasis’ popped up next to the road. The roof was roof constructed of poles and some palm leaves. As we got off our bikes a travelling salesman stopped. We got talking and he insisted on paying for our drinks. In the end we could only say thank you. The generosity of people in Sudan is beyond believe.

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    Yes in 1000m there is dedicated parking spot. And it looks the same as this place.

    We rode into Merowi in the middle of the day and had to get out of the sun as soon as possible. On our way into town some policeman directed us to a house of a Nubian family. We could take rest there. That is how the Sudanese describe their siesta time to us. The Nubian people opened their homes to everybody. Their kind of hospitality is unrivalled. Always friendly and nothing is too much effort for them.

    There are day beds under roof, made with ropes to allow for airflow. Late the afternoon we decided to head out for Dongola and make the best of the ‘cooler’ temperature.
    benedikt.m likes this.
  4. Brick Top

    Brick Top Been here awhile

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    Great report thanks for all the time and effort.

    I have not seen metaljockey on ADV for a long time?
  5. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Lazy, beer drinker.:lol3 And one of his nice recent trips he lost all his photos. So maybe he need some motivation. :wink:
  6. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Okay, fuck, time to get the show on the road again. There's so much to update it is ridiculous. Next trip start in less than 2.5 months. :deal

    Have I mentioned how hot it is in Sudan? Not your average Texas 42 now and then. It's more like Satan's crib. The time between 10 and 2 when you pass out from heat. And then gets sort of better by 7 the evening when you drown in your own sweat when sleeping.
    And no fucking beer!
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    Typical Nubian house. Nubian people are really cool and friendly folke. Unlike Egyptians

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    Time to "take rest"

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    5 Star rooms, wonder where were Charley and what's his name were sleeping, as there are no 5 star hotels here close-by to sit and sob.

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    The most important commodity in Sudan is always for free

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    Nubian Nuri pyramids, Karima, Sudan, they say these are older than the Giza pyramids

    Dongola is next to the Nile. We could smell water in the air as we came closer to town. The air got thicker as we road over the bridge and over the Nile into Dongola.

    We headed to a popular hotel. Popular, not fancy. It’s an old place with very basic rooms. The place is clean enough and it’s obvious that many backpackers and travellers stay there. As we got off our bikes, ready to just relax, the receptionist came over and told us we need to go to the police station to get permission to sleep in the town and at the hotel.

    From all our travels this must have been the most bizarre and weirdest request. We were really not in the mood for such nonsensical bullshit. The guy arranged a Tuk-Tuk for us as his directions he gave me was gibberish and dodgy at best. The policeman took our passports and eventually came back with a paper that grant us the permission to stay the night.

    Truly WTF! We headed back to the hotel for some drinks.
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    Dongola hotel rooms. Not bad but that water cooler sounds like a Folcker airplane taking off while running to keep the place cool.

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    Damn! We only eat bread, eggs and tomato sauce and then the tomato sauce pulls a porn stunt on me and cum on my face! *:lol3

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    The road to Wadi Halfa meander through the desert and follow the course of the Nile which flows out into Lake Nassar. All along the Nile the Nubian people farm and live in colourful settlements. I think a very special hike or bicycle trip would be to fly into Khartoum, take a bus or public transport to Dongola and then either hike, walk or ride a bicycle to Wadi Halfa following the Nile.

    It is really safe and it is possible to camp anywhere next to the Nile or with Nubian families. It is easy to walk back to the main road and get a taxi or bus back to Khartoum. My only reservation is the lack of beers in Sudan.

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    Beautiful Nubian house next to the Nile. The Nubians will have you stay for free and feed you aswell. Really cool people.


  7. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Lucky the eggs didn't join in!
  8. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    :lol3
  9. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Less than 200km before Wadi Halfa we rode past compounds with hundreds of people, trucks, pick-up vans next to the road with makeshift eateries. For the most there were no houses or shacks around. Only shallow dugouts in the ground covered with old torn apart sails flapping away in the midday heat. It was a perplexing sight.

    Only later were we told it is people digging for gold. We were totally bowled over. The level of poverty and hope for a better life, living in the desert like rats in holes digging for a hope to find a morsel of gold. Good lord, it’s a hard life.

    Wadi Halfa what a groovy nice town!
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    Sunset over Wadi Halfa

    The sun was on it’s way turning orange when we rode into Wadi Halfa. Mazar our local fixer told we do not have to worry he will find us as we got into town. On Tracks 4 Africa quite a few hotels are listed. The problem with that was that all of them are labelled hotels but most of them are in fact just rest houses. The locals call them hotels but they are not.

    Mazar found us at one of these hotels and he duly directed us to the Kilopatra hotel. The place is dirt cheap and all the local travellers or overlanders spend their time here waiting for the ferry. There was a fan in the room with two well slept in beds. We left most of the stuff on the bikes. We were assured it would be safe, and it was.

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    Bikes and all the stuff on it is safe outside our humble hotel which was our home for 3 days. Mazar the only honest reliable and humane fixer we have ever met.

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    Loads of channels, Our private TV and a choice between Muslim prayers and Muslim prayers. Gourmet dining in our room.

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    Quick lesson: Use your hand to wipe your arse! If you use toilet paper wipe arse and throw in bin, just do not go in the afternoon the stench is vomit inducing.

    For Westerners getting use to squat toilets is a funny affair. We are not use to squat like this. The other more nauseating thing is the showers and toilets are most of the times a one unit set up. Cleaning and the smell of you know what does not seems to bother locals as much as us. And then the custom is to not throw toilet paper in to the toilet. For one the sewerage pipes are not designed to handle paper waste.

    Secondly they do not use toilet paper. There are small plastic watering cans around which the locals use to wash their hands after a visit to the loo. Toilet paper cost almost 7 times as much as normal packets of tissues.

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    Early evening the men watch TV outside, very festive and a social affair. Woman must not be seen, go cook or make a sandwich or something.

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    Intermission and we quickly take pray.

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    After TV time, it's time for tea and talking shit with the locals, and what's news on Al Jazeera.

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    Don't worry it is not just us who are getting screwed by mobile companies they rape the entire Africa. :lol3

    We did not waste time kicking off the bike boots and hit the dust roads for a night on the town. Wadi Halfa is small friendly vibey town with a very relaxed atmosphere. The people hang around outside after sunset when the air is cooler. They chatter like finches in a palm tree just before they go to sleep.

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    Our daily bread from our local hangout place. Burn like toxic waste and lava from the chillies and only luke warm Coke to wash it down. But still a great meal from our friendly new friends.

    We dined on Shawarmas for less than 2USD for us both. Local tea vendor ladies dishes up the nicest spicy tasting tea with pleasing aromas.

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    Beds everywhere as "taking rest"is very important.

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    Great people, these men were having a very intellectual conversations with us while we sip on tea trying to fix the problems of the world. Breakfast was something ridiculous like 2usd for us both. Eggs, fresh bread and tea

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    Ferry booking office signage. At least they tried not like the damn Egyptians.

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    I was convinced this was that Al Qaeda Osama Bin laden crib. Looked really dodgy as fuck.

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    This guy eventually started giving us Coke for free because we supported him everyday. Cookies and condensed milk could stop any stomach bug. The town is pumping at night.

    The damn Heidenau on the back of my bike was on it’s way out. I think the heat of the last few days was causing the delamination. The entire tread was busy coming apart. Mazar had a KLR there with as side car which was abandoned by the owners, a South African couple. They were unable to secure the documents to cross into Egypt and it would have cost them more money that what the bike was worth.

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    Mazar the fixer at the Wadi halfa border

    Mazar offered that we swap tyres as the one on the KLR were still good for some more mileage. The next day, Mazar, arranged all the necessary paper work for us to board the ferry and whatever documents that we had to have.

    Sudan is a tough place to travel let alone live. No mainstream tourism which makes the country so special and a real adventure. We would love to go back even though there are no beers. The people of Sudan are really cool!
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  10. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    Very interesting posts on Sudan.
    Thanks for taking the time :clap:clap
  11. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    EGYPT..IN SEARCH OF THE OLD EGYPTIANS. PART 1
    Post is a bit buggered the pictures do not follow the story as we could not take pictures on the ferry.

    Penning our experience with Egypt took me some time. It's got more to do with the aberrant manner of Egypt. Take caution not to become cynical about Egyptians and try and see the real Egypt and people. But let me tell you the story and you can decide for yourself. It’s a love hate affair. Sometimes more hate than love and a bit of a culture shock until one learn to deal with Egypt's eccentric and quirky ways.

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    Our modus operandi for any new country was and still is, go in with open minds and expect anything and know that most things most probablywill be different to what we are accustomed to. This was no different to Egypt. Although, we had our trepidation about Egypt and were told horror stories by many travelers about Baksheesh and the art of ripping-off of travelers even outside the tourist areas.
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    We were really seeing forward sitting next to the Nile in Aswan with a beer, Falafel and the sun setting over the sand dunes. You know that pictures of Raiders of the Lost Arch and such movie? And then off course to see the pyramids and ancient sites of the old Egyptians.
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    Early morning Aswan waking up. Smell of fresh bread everywhere.

    Mazar our fixer in Sudan at the border town of Wadi Halfa ran around preparing all the paper work for us to enter Egypt onboard the dilapidated SS Titanic Nasser. This ramshackle zinc tub was still the current and only means of travel between Sudan and Egypt. This must still be the first steel boat ever build in the world operating. We quickly found out the reason for its existence was that an entire economy revolves around the operation of this vessel.

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    These stupid big cruise ships stand 4-5 deep row after row, we stop counted somewhere after 50 or 70 empty. The Arab spring killed the tourist flowers.

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    Rent a Felluca for the day, they are cheap and lunch with beers are standard.

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    Me? Yes for bloody sure I am a pharaoh! Call me King Tut Two

    Most migrants and travelers between the two countries would rather opt for road as means of transport than this decrepit piece of 1920’s boat building marvel. There is a perfectly good piece of black slab between Sudan and Egypt but because of corruption people are forced to use the boat and are not allowed to travel by road.
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    Small ferries taking people to the Islands in the Nile. Woman on one side men on otherside. Not allowed to sit together.

    It took 24 hours for the boat to travel to Aswan along the length of Lake Nasser. We had to ask special permission to get our bikes on board as this ferry only took passengers. The barges that normally transport the vehicles were not operational due to a low water level in Lake Nasser.

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    Hotels were dirt cheap and we took over the rooftop swimming pool with the beer fridge.
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    Sex is sex baby, does not matter how extreme the believes *:biggrin:

    We set sail late in the afternoon. It took age’s to load all the people and their bags of whatever they had with them. Well, whatever powered this waiting-to-sink-fail-ship got slowly going with more people on-board than what very lenient Western safety standard would allow. There were people sleeping on everything that were flat.

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    Antoine and Carlene the two fearless bicycle overlanders. Fucking crazy to pedal when you can open a throttle. They consumed more food that than our bikes consumed fuel. They pedaled all the way from Ethiopia back to Europe!

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    Cool thing about adventurers, spending a little bit of time together on the road and it tend to end in long term friendships. Does not matter where in the world people live.

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    Aswan comes alive at night. At least there are beer!

    Elsebie got allocated a cabin with a woman and her 2 kids the size of a shoe box. That turned out a disaster as the woman green smelly fart quickly filled the small cabin. As for myself, I had to use friendly force and an evil eye with a few Egyptians for the lid of the box where the life jackets were stored on deck. Not long and Elsebie made me move up to lie next to me on the lid of the box, the farting got too much for her to bear.

    We met up with Antoine and Carlene, two bicycle riders from Europe that rode their bicycles from Ethiopia back to Europe. Eventually, we got space under one of the Lifeboats for the duration of the trip. This ferry trip turned out to be one of those experiences which were quite memorable and enjoyable but we would never want to do it again.

  12. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    "Bring me a cold beer here, please!"
  13. Lolthatguy

    Lolthatguy Has a Zombie House

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    If you come to Australia and need a place to rest your head, there is a place here for you both. I'm 2 1/2 hours south of Sydney, NSW.

    I haven't read your thread yet, I'm just getting started on it, so apologies if you have been and i have missed it.
  14. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Thanks so much, that is very kind of you. We haven't been to Australia but it is definitely on the list. :thumb
  15. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Aswan is a serene place where the Nile is more majestic than anywhere else, flowing through granite rocks, and round emerald islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants. It’s a typical tourist town where rip-off prices and nagging vendors force themselves onto anybody looking like a tourist.

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    Food is cheap and street food quite good. Koshary and Falafel with beer is great for building a lekker boep.
    "Koshary is, without a doubt, the most famous Egyptian street food around. *Consisting of more carbs and legumes than you’ve probably ever seen in one meal (pasta, rice, lentils and chick peas) and onions and garlic, you’ll be sure to eat this meal, then be ready for a nap right after! *Sometimes considered the poorman’s meal because it can fill you up and is quite inexpensive, you’ll find many common Egyptians crowding the stands and restaurants where it is served."

    The Arabic spring had an adverse effect on the tourist industry in Egypt. Huge cruise boats we docked along each other many hotels we empty. A quick count over 50 of the behemoth cruise liners docked. Nothing much was happening in the town.

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    None of us are smokers. But when in Rome. Enjoying the view to Aswan and it''s lights at night from Elephant Island. Our Fixer "fuck us over" host invited us over for tea and a peace pipe.

    Because of the bureaucratic bullshit we had to spend 2 days in Aswan waiting for the bikes to clear through customs. This border crossing ended up being the most costly of the entire trip. Mostly due to fixer payment and Baksheesh that had to be paid. Everything is written in Arabic and thus trying as travelers to clear through custom was impossible.

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    Beer is a blood purifier, do not know where they get this nonsense :)

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    Take the Arab spring on a bike..

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    Ideologies!!

    It’s a lengthy process. First we had to pay for a road engineer, pffff…..a bloody low paid cop now is called a road engineer. We paid a taxi from Aswan to customs, 25km away for him to scratch the VIN numbers onto a piece of paper, which eventually would end up with a ton of other rubbish in a corner of one of the offices. The customs officials at the border were not allowed to perform this very important and highly skilled task.

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    Then there were four other officials each who had to sign some more useless papers and wrote gibberish in Arabic on the Carne. We then we got issued with yellow temporary number plates that had to be fixed to the bikes.

    We were in Egypt and in search of the old Egyptians.
  16. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    After our stint in Ethiopia having to beg, kick and kill for petrol, we thought petrol would be an easier commodity to come by in Egypt. Well as it turns out, the Arab spring protest had a huge influence on the supply countrywide.

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    Petrol in Egypt normally cost around R3-00 (.30usd) per liter of petrol. For us as travelers, that is if you could get some, it was closer to R6-00 (.60usd) per liter. Yes, still cheaper compared to South African prices, but a poorer quality than ours. The bikes performance were more like cheap Chinese knock-off scooters.

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    Check the huge smile a motorcycle ride gives a bicyclist. Twist the throttle gives much more of a hard on than pedaling. Having fun visiting all the ancient historical places.

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    Mosque build in the grounds of the old Egyptian ruins

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    Lots of small tourist trap shops. You can buy genuine, 100% real out of the tomb artifacts. Genuine!:D

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    The old next to the new. Part of ancient buildings foundations to the right.

    When we entered Egypt our plan was to do the desert route. It passes the White and Black deserts to the west of the country. With its spectacular scenes and sand formations it is a must see. Also off the main tourist route and should allow us to mingle with local folk. Okay, so in the end that did not work out due to the petrol shortage and we would not have been able to find petrol for that 1100km stretch.

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    The Nile is everything and everything happens next ot the Nile. It is life in Egypt

    With Antoine and Carlene and their slow as a donkey bicycles for transport, the decision was made to have a bit of a party time up the coast to Cairo. They will go from Hurghada to Dahab, a dive scene along the Red-sea coast, while we will ship our bikes somewhere else out of Egypt.

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    Easier to get around Luxor on the bikes.

    Well, like I said, just useless information.And I think we had less harmful emissions than what they had consuming all the funny food on the way. Farting and peddling cannot be good for a human being. That said, there’s a lot to be said for peddling the way they did. It’s a helluva lot cheaper than a motorcycle setup, and there were no need for Carne’s and paper work.

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    The reason the picture was taken from such a distance is that it's not allowed to take pictures. Think they are scared they would either lose revenue, or by taking photographs would do damage to the structure.

    The road in the middle of Egypt that snakes parallel to the Nile up to Cairo is a tedious slow going affair. It is around 700km in length and there are police stops every 3 or 5 kilometers. The locals told us after Mubarak got asked nicely to get the hell out of office, the local Egyptians did not want this entire military and police nonsense. So none of the stops were actually stops anymore, just inconveniences in the road where we had to slow down and wave at the police sleeping under the dilapidated makeshift sun shades.

    We only had to stick to the main road till Luxor and then turn off to Hurghada, a seaside resort town at the Red sea.

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    Road blocks, road blocks everywhere...we never stopped just went through them.

    Now, this is where my question as the heading of this blog comes in …

    Where and what happened to the old Egyptians? The people in Egypt today cannot possible be the same people. I must confess I am really ignorant when it comes to Egyptian history. But it hits one in the face the dramatic difference between the impressive old and the lackadaisical almost torpid reality of today’ Egypt.

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    The old monuments, temples and Valley of the Kings are truly impressive. To think that people build it thousands of years ago with very primitive tools and knowledge, sure makes for jaw dropping gasps. They sure punched above their weight. Turn around and look at Egypt today and it is as if the entire old Egyptian civilization stopped to exist at some point, progress just stopped. Egypt today looks like a rundown African failed state with a good stream of tourism income.
    gregMo likes this.
  17. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Luxor is home to the Valley of Kings, the temple of Karnuk and the temple of Luxor. For overlanders there is one place to stay in Luxor and it is Rezeiky camp. It is run and owned by a very friendly and helpful Coptic Christian, Mr Rezeiky. We made it our base for a few days while we visited most of the temples. One utter stupid thing about the major attractions is that they do not allow any photos to be taken of the temples or inside the tombs. So we can say we were there but we have not a single photo to show for it. And beware, to visit all the temples will shrink a budget traveler’s budget in no time at all.

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    Busy Hurghada next to the Red Sea. Those expensive ferries stop to run the route with the Arab spring.

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    The entire coast are the playground of the Russians. Most business signs are in English, Russian and Arabic. Not to mention the hideous *looking fronts of business bars and restaurants

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    Every morning cheap breakfast with the locals old folks at a small cafe. Breakfast cost no more than 2$

    Back in Ethiopia my front fork seals took a beating and both pissed out most of the oil. I was in no mood to fix it in the heat of Sudan and as such carried on all the time while oil pissed out onto the front brake, over my bike and to Elsebie’ horror my pants. We took this opportunity to get them fixed. Fork oil is not something that is readily available in Luxor. The owner none the less sends his help to fetch me some fork oil. What he brought back was something more with the consistency of rusty murky water, but it was definitely not fork oil.

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    Rezeiky camp in Luxor. Owned by super nice Coptic Christians.

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    Overhauling front forks again. Seals just do not last.
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    What went into the forks looks like brown oil but I suspect it was old oil from fries or something mixed with sewage. As it was impossible to buy fork oil or even hydraulic oil they brought me that mix in a 2l Coke bottle.
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    At least there was a pool to cool off.

    If that is it then, that is what will have to work in this bike till Europe. In any case the nice off-road riding was a thing of the past for now.

    It was in Hurgada the sea side holiday resort town that our trip got halted with a sudden urgency. We booked into a cheap dodgy establishment which was only good for poorer bottom of the barrel scraping travelers like ourselves. It was clean and…………well, it was clean let’s leave it at that.
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    Small shops pressing sugar cane into plastic sachets mixed with Lime juice Costing like .2$cents. Fuck Red Bull this stuff gives you wings!

  18. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    After our accident in Sudan, Elsebie nursed her knee for 4 weeks and it looked like it was healing albeit slowly. The injury from our viewpoint did not look to be too serious. A few days before, an Egyptian pseudo-ointment quack tried to swindle us into buying his toxic potion made of white pig lard, cow shit and other unholy ingredients which yet had to be named by science and which does not exist on the Periodic table.

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    Some nice night bars in Luxor. Got a bit of a cheesy grotto feel to them but it's got a nice vibe.

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    Get going to Cairo
    In any case this snake oil vendor saw Elsebie’s knee and before she knew what hit her were made to sit on a small 3 legged chair and he rubbed this shit into the wound, she stopped him and try to get out as much as possible. We could only surmise that, that must have been the root of the infection as her knee showed healing in the 3 and half weeks prior to this.

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    As in Ethiopia the cars, trucks and whateverdefuck uses the roads just shed parts and pieces as far as they go. It's just like horses just shit as they trotting along, except these auto's shit puncture opportunities.

    Her knee did not look well, it was swollen with the typical signs of infected red flesh. Only option was to see a Dr and since it’s a big town they would have a hospital. She left us at a coffee shop while she went to the hospital. Two hours later she called and informed us the Dr wanted 8000usd as deposit and that he wants to operate the same.

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    Not the Highway stop on the interstate but these roadside stops are always busy and food is cheap.

    It left us between a rock and a hard place. There were no way we would give a Doctor 8000usd and that as deposit. We have learned from our mistakes in Egypt and that would only result in more horror extortion afterwards. Also even if she did get an operation in Egypt we cannot stay for months for her to recover. We decided to leave the bikes in Cairo and fly back home the next day.

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    Wild camping close to Cairo

    Antoine offered to ride her bike for me to Cairo and she and Carlene will use a rental car to get to Cairo. I called the South African embassy in Cairo and Johnny one of the higher up managers immediate told me that we could leave the bikes in the basement in the embassy until we return. This was the first time I have ever experience this kind of help from any government department and people.

    Needless to say, the next day with the bikes parked we flew back to South Africa.
  19. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,087
    Location:
    South Africa
    With a 200% deposit on a Carnet de passage just for Egypt we knew the slow wheels of bureaucracy in Egypt will test our patience. The day we landed in South Africa while Elsebie went to book into hospital for her knee, I went to the Egyptian embassy in Pretoria. I wanted to inquire about the process which we have to follow to keep our bikes legal in Egypt until we get back.

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    Needless to say, the Egyptian embassy in SA was not only very rude but also not helpful at all. We have been to many embassies for visas but to date have never experienced an embassy like this. One of the people working there looked at our paperwork and translated the Arabic to: the bikes had to be out of the country by 15th of May! Now take into account you get a 30 day visa and we told them at the border we will be traveling for a while in Egypt.

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    I met with the ambassador who informed me that he was only dealing with high people and do not deal or give advice on such trivial matters, tourist or no tourist. The best advice they could master up was for me to have letters stamped and notarised by the master of the high court in Bisho or Grahamstown in which I explain what happened.

    Then have those letters stamped by the Minister of International relations and the Minister of Health. And in the end pay somebody that is approved by the master of the High court in Pretoria to translate it all into Arabic.

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    This took us some time, a lot of courier costs and fees to get all done. All the while we wondered if it was a futile exercise. Customs officials the world over are not the most upstanding of citizens and I was not optimistic that these letters would convince a border official wanting money.

    With all our paperwork ready and new parts for the bikes, we flew back to Cairo 5 month later to try and get the bikes into Europe with the least amount of damage to our pockets.

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    Cairo old city is stupidly busy, always. Okay not 3am but the rest of the time it's like a beehive.

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    Yes, the Cairo National Museum is suppose to be shit hot place. It is, except it looks like a badly run overstock pawnshop.

    The plan was to make it for Jordan, spend time at Petra, then Israel and then ship over to Italy from there. Shipping out of Egypt was our last option. There are too many horror stories of having to pay bribes and Baksheesh and then still having to wait for the boat which may or may not arrive within a week……or not.

    We had our Shengzen visas and our Jordan visa’s in hand.

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    At least we had the time now to see the pyramids of Giza and the museum in Cairo. With some luck we got into a dodgy, small but cool hostel in the middle of Cairo. For about R180 per night per room, they even picked us up at the airport.

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    Driving in Cairo can at first be petrifying and very intimidating. But then although they drive like real hillbillies it’s a slow bumper to bumper affair with lots of hooting and screaming. Not much that can hurt you if you take it slow and just stay out of others way.

    Johnny the Consular at the South African embassy that helped us since the start, again went out of his way to help us. This time had the driver took us to the traffic department to get the licenses renewed for the bikes as we would not have been able to find less talk to the people there.


    But all was not that rosy, apparently in Arabic it stated on the papers we had 3 days to get the bikes out of Egypt or have higher penalties that we had to pay. We were still in the dark as to exactly how deep the trouble was and if, how much penalties would have to be paid for renewal of the Egyptian number plates and for customs.

    The worse was we had 3 fucking days to get the bikes out of Egypt!

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    Battery hunting.

    Some people told us they can not see it on the papers that got issued to us but we must rather not take a change. And as luck would have it the newest (7-8 months old) of the batteries was completely dead. The older one was also near death’s door, but luckily we brought 1 new battery with us. This resulted again in Johhny helping with the driver to track a bike shop in Cairo that would maybe with an off chance have a battery for a Dakar.

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    Full of dust from living in a basement.

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    Trying to force a 1200GS battery into the box.

    BMW the ever keen design engineers they are, love the concept of using special type of parts which you will never find outside of Germany, as is the case with the Dakar battery. In the end and after a long day running around we tracked down the equivalent battery for a 1200GS. I knew it would be too big to fit the battery box of the Dakar but that would just had to do the trick.

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    Time to hit the road to Jordan..
  20. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,087
    Location:
    South Africa
    We decided the next day, come hell or highwater we will go and see the pyramids and museum and then the next day ride over the Suez Canal, or under it, as there’s no bridges over the Suez. Then head for Nuweiba at the Red sea and take the ferry to Jordan. If nothing else goes wrong we would be there on day 3 to clear customs and take the shit that will come with having the bikes exceeding their issued time limit.

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    Cairo business centre from across the Nile.

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    And then during day time Cairo is another beast.

    After another taxi driver screwed us over and paying too much to get around, the embassy staff arranged for a taxi driver to drive us the following day to see what we had to see. They said on the bikes it would take to long for us to try and navigate and would not be able to see everything – which is so true.

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    Met some really cool young Egyptians. They have quite a different view on religion and turmoil in Egypt. Hopefully they will help turn Egypt in the future.

    Through www.ADVRider.com website I met a guy named, Heeso, who not only helped us to find the battery for the bike but also invited us out to meet his friends and fellow-bikers. We spend a memorable evening in a rooftop restaurant.

    The pyramids sure are a sight to behold. The sheer tenacity of the old Egyptians to build such structures is mind boggling. We took the option of riding on camels around the pyramids. (Do the tourist thing!) Something in hindsight we were really glad we did. The camels’ track is left to the main strip and one miss all the tourist groups, busses, curio sellers and hordes of people climbing over one another.

    We are not really stuffy museum dwellers but decided to visit the popular Egyptian Museum. The artefacts are very interesting although not very well documented and it will probably be to your benefit to use a guide. The jewelry intrigued Elsebie and the details on most of the ‘older’ artefacts were fascinating.

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    Compulsory convoy across the Sinai from Cairo to Dahab. Hip!:)

    The next day we left Cairo early to head for Nuweiba. The Suisse Canal can not really be accessed and there are roadblocks everywhere so we had to do with riding through the tunnel imagining how it looked above us. Just outside the tunnel all foreigners have to wait and travel in convoy – from slow petrol tanks to bikes. It took us most of the day to travel the 200km stretch to Nuweiba.

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    We were suppose to follow the convoy of tourist busses and trucks but after a while of riding 60km/h in 40'c heat we ditched them and went ahead. The police and army were not impress. :lol8:

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    Look if you want your army to look all war and fierce do not dress them in tight stove pipe pants.

    We spend a night under a grass roof right next to the Red Sea. Spectacular, and were able to wash off the last of the Sinai desert in the mellow ocean. Heeso’ friend and partner was vacationing in the area and met us later for some sweet tea.

    With his help and a bit of last minute reading it become clear that it will be much easier for us to cross the border to Israel at Taba instead of taking a very expensive ferry over to Jordan. A few phone calls to friends also made it seem that we will not have too much trouble at the border with the motorbikes – it turned out our Arabic paperwork stated we had 15 days to get over the border, not 3 … well, we can only wonder ….

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    The Sinai desert is truly a very beautiful place.

    The Egypt border at Taba was a surprisingly different setup as the Aswan one. Neater and with even baggage scanners (maybe they’re keeping up with the Jones’ next door…). We approached the not so well English spoken customs official with all our paperwork and waited for about 20min for him to try and figure things out.

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    Our last night in Egypt we slept in the grass huts on mats. Could easily spent some time chilling there.

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    Early morning and time to leave Egypt!!!

    Not very friendly, or patient to listen to our story, he ‘lost’ one of our important papers in his register and started waving at Elsebie for not giving it to him. We searched high and low, even checked the garbage, just to when he turned his back to find his boss, for Elsebie to search his desk and to find it. Still waiting for the apology …

    Now here it comes … a long story short …”It is easy, Madam, Sir, you pay EPND5540 (about 780US) or leave your bikes here”!!!! Not even tears would move this mountain … so we had to find an ATM and cough.

    Hallo, Israel, here we come!!!!