Finally, we camped in Africa! Egyptians don’t camp so it’s rare to find a good spot. We could park our car on the beach at Rocky Valley Beachcamp, if it wasn’t for the wind it would have been heaven. Coral reefs right off the coast, snorkeling was just amazing!
From Al Quiseir we wanted to drive to Luxor, but we were stopped by the police. We knew we would drive through areas that the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs classifies as ‘risky’, so we were not that surprised. However, we did want to know why we were being stopped. “No cellphone service and no fuel stations” he said. Well, we got a full tank and we got a satellite phone…so sir, move over, we can go on like all the Egyptians do. Nope, not going to happen, not for tourists. Dangerous. He wouldn’t tell us the real reason, which is probably some kind of kidnapping risk. Detour of two hours it is. Later on the road it happened again, this time we had to take a very annoying road with a million speed bumps instead of the high way. Why? No idea, but when a police man with a kalashnikov tells you to turn around you really don’t have a choice. Despite all the checkpoints, we don’t feel unsafe at all. The streets have a friendly feel and it’s no problem to walk around at night.
If you love culture, Luxor is a magical place. We went to the Valley of the Kings, Medinet Habu and Karnak temple. You can see much more but we just saved ourselves from getting ‘Old Stone Fatigue’, so for us it was a perfect day.
In Aswan, a beautiful city along the Nile, we slept in a Nubian guesthouse and took the local ferry into town. Before crossing into Sudan, you have to get proof that you don’t have any outstanding traffic fines. So first pitstop, the traffic department. Luckily we had the coordinates of this place via the iOverlander app, otherwise it would have taken us hours to find it. A friendly guy in the building took us under his wing and we got the document in 15 minutes.
Aswan is more polished than the other cities we have been so far. Normally there is dirt everywhere, which is such a shame. In Aswan you get the feeling that they at least try to clean up a bit. After getting the traffic document, we went to Elephantine Island, to see a museum and archeological site, but maybe the Nile views were the best part.
Tomorrow we will go to Abu Simbel, our final stop in Egypt before crossing into Sudan!