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We arrived in Nuweiba very early in the morning after taking a ferry from Aqaba. We were told the ferry would leave at 5.00 but it didn't move till much later and we were finally let out onto the Egyptian roads at 3.15am. We trundled down to Dahab and spent a couple of nights there. Chris got his kite buggy out after watching loads of kite surfers on the lagoon. I went snorkelling and saw many many new fishes. Great bright colours.
 
Nelly in the Blue deser Photo 0735

 

Next stop was the blue desert, complete with painted blue sandstone boulders. All painted in the name of peace between Israel and Egypt using 10 tons of paint. Nelly was fairly well camouflaged amongst them, we were less well hidden.

 

 

Photo 0734 Us in the blue desert

 

After seeing the desert we moved on to St Katherine's where I went inside the Monastery before we climbed up Gebel Musa. This is supposedly the mountain were Moses received the 10 commandments. We walked up the camel path and descended the 3,700 steps cut into the rock by one monk. From there we travelled across the Sinai peninsular in search of Turquoise.There are some old mines, apparently excavated for the Pharaohs and, needless to say, we didn't find any chunks of Turquoise but had a nice outing anyway.

   
After the mines we went to see some more modern engineering, the Suez Canal. They wouldn't let us take the ferry across is, it was only for ferries, so we had to go in the Tunnel below. On the journey from Suez to Cairo we caught up with another British landrover. We followedDave and Ivana (www.expedition4x4.com) through Cairo to the campsite in Giza.
 
View from the turquoise mines Photo 0748

Cairo driving was interesting to say the least. The cars were vying for road space with the sheep, donkey carts and buses. Somehow it all works but we are not sure how. We found the campsite and settled in for a few days. We got Ethiopian visas, extended the Sudan visas and did some servicing to Nelly. We had campfires most evenings and found a good supermarket to get meat from. We did the tourist visit to the Pyramids and the Sphinx although you could see the pyramids from the campsite.

 
Sphinx and Pyramids Photo 0770
     

Finally it was time to leave Cairo and head south in the rain. We had been given a 10 day extension to our Sudanese visas so we had 10 days to get to Wadi Halfa. The drive started promisingly enough until the Police closed the desert road. We were then given a Police Escort down the Nile, actually lots of them and most had the blue lights on going through the towns. Each car only went so far so we spent a lot of the day waiting for the next escort.

We managed 400km in 10 hours and ended up in a compound in Asyut for the night. Next morning we set off for Luxor still with an escort but they did let us go for some of the time.

     

We went to our first temple in Dendera but then had to wait for the other tourists to finish before they would let us all leave, in the convoy. Whereupon, we went straight to the petrol station, the policeman was not very impressed but there was not much they could do. Luxor is tourist town. The campsite was small but near the town centre. We walked to the temples and took a boat across the river to look into some tombs. The scenery around Luxor is quite spectacular when you can get away from the felluca, caliche and taxi men.

Photo 0789 View towards the Nile from the tombs.

   

After a steep walk up the hill we had an amazing view of the temple below.

 

We then left with the 7am convoy to Aswan, stopping at Edfu and Kom Ombo temples. The temple at Edfu is very spectacular and some of the carvings are very intricate. There were quite a lot of other tourists there, most from cruise ships.

 
Photo 0793 Aerial view of temple  

 

 

We arrived in Aswan about lunch time and headed to the dam. There are two dams, the older one built by the British and the larger dam built by the Russians. The Nile is much narrower in Aswan and the cultivated strip much narrower. As we travelled south down the Nile the land use changed from vegetables and bananas to mile after mile of sugar cane and then a smelly processing plant. We waited around in Aswan for a few days sorting out the ferry to Wadi Halfa.

   
Photo 0812 The Aswan high dam

We eventually left Egypt on Sunday 18th January accompanied on the ferry by Heinz and his large Swiss truck, Nigel and Simon in their British landcruiser, Oliver and Sandra in their German landcruiser and Eric and Wolfgang in their Dutch Nissan. We then had a pleasant few days whiling away the time under the Egyptian and Sudanese sunshine. Unfortunately the boat stopped each night and then motored too fast for Simon to catch any fish but we saw plenty of stars.

 

 

Photo 0839 Cars on the ferry

 

 
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