Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt – Nuweiba

Day 38
Egypt, Nuweiba
Total 7736 km

Written in Nuweiba.

From Jordan to Egipt.
Meanwhile it seemed quite doubtful to reach Egipt. Because the crowds gathered to the downtown of Cairo and the situation became quite tense. And what about the possibility that tourists are not allowed to Egipt for some period? I had no Visa for Egipt because it was said to be the simpliest thing to get it at the border. No matter whether to arrive by plane or by ship. And it was my plan to come from Jordania by ship. Jordania and Egipt have no inland border. There is Israel between them.

Anyway, in Petra I met a Dutch who had just arrived from Egypt. And he said that there is no possibility to go there and in Aqaba there are others waiting for access to Africa.

So taking all this into consideration I decided not to visit Wadi Rum at the moment and go to Aqaba to find what the situation really was. Because – to listen all the stories that are told and make all the necessary preparations that are obligatory – one cannot leave home at all.

Before Aqaba there was a police check post. I was asked where I was going. When I replied that to Africa, they said, OK, you can go on. That was really good. It meant that perhaps the situation was not that bad! I was told that a few kilometres from Aqaba port there was a kind of a camping site by the diving centre. And there could be other travellers as well. The hope was to get fresh info. And the camp was just there as told. There were more than 10 big campers and some smaller ones. The French who planned to go to Australia and many Germans having a shorter or longer trip.


But as to the information - no precise info. And no decent internet connection was found.
So the first thing in the morning was to go to the port to find out.

But all the seaside was port. The first port was not the right one. So a couple of kilometres to drive back. This time it seemed a more appropiate place. And as I explained by the border barrier that I was going to Egipt, I was replied that I could go if I had a ticket and passport. I had the passport but no ticket. And to get a ticket I went back to town.

And no problem at all with the tickets. All the ships followed the schedule. And there is a fast ship leaving in the daytime and a slow one leaving in midnight. Actually – it was told that they both are slow but the midnight ship is especially slow. Otherwise it should take 3 hours when they depart on time. Briefly I was asked if I knew what was going on in Egipt and if it was my certain desire to go but as there was no other option and the border was open - so I continued with the ticket purchase and coffe-drinking which belonged to this procedure (and this time it was really coffe, not tea).

And the country Estonia was again unknown to them. The reaction was – oh, Spain?? And the further conversation was about football and Real Madrid. And all this – about the tenth time. That these are different countries nobody cares.

Having the ticket for evening ship I wandered about the town, had my hair cut, and back to the camp to share information. In any case I called the Eguptian consulate and asked about going to Nuweiba. The answer was that there were no problems with Nuweiba.
And somehow it has lately really been this way – if they say – no problems – there are really no problems involved.

If the border had been closed, I would have used Plan B – and here it is : Get a Saudi 3-day transit visa to travel by land to Saudi arabian port town Jeddah and then by boat to port Sudan. And getting no visa immediately practically meant that Jordanian car insurance and the length of my stay there should be extended. My intention had been to stay in Jordania only a week.

According to the information from internet the visa was required for booking Sudan tickets. It was good that Sudanese visa was made earlier and not in Cairo. Though it was said it would take one day to get visa in Cairo. And somebody said that at the moment no Sudan visas were available. And then I would have used Plan C which meant that back to Syria and then through Iran.

It seemed like the situation a year ago in March in Tunesia . Then Algerian visa was not issued either in Europe or at the spot. And Libya had limited the entrance of the citizens of Schengen. Then the route was the following – over Sicily to Italy, then France and over Spain to Maroco and finally I reached Benin. Only Nigerin visa was expired by that time. OK, so it was.

While getting on the ship I was asked about the ticket and do I really have the ticket? So they specified „Espania“, OK, let them be right and then I could proceed. Next again – the car in the middle of a big square and to fill in the documents. The departure tax was 8 dinars per person and 5 dinars per car. Perhaps it was the other way round, who can remember., and the payment had to be only in local money. The exit stamp into the passport and just wait until the big trucks got slowly on the ship.

Through a hangar where a large scanner illuminated the whole car. Luckely it was not necessary to be inside the car. And one was not allowed into the room where the X-ray appeared on the screen. Of course it would have been interesting to see. So everything was OK and I could go on.

Before the ship there were some more officials who were surprised to see somebody going to Egipt, checked the departure taxes etc. And later I discovered that together with the receipts someone had taken also the ship-ticket. Luckely it was not asked any more.

On board the ship they tried unsuccsessfully to find an Egipt visa in my passport, which didn`t have it. . And then I was asked to show it myself. When I had replied that I had no visa there was a light conversation. I was asked about my profession and from which country I had come from. And in the end I had to fill the visa application form. Luckely it was quite short. And the passport was promised to return to me in Nuweiba port.

There was a shower and even warm water in the cabin but no towels or sheets. So it was.
And at night while asleep a lot of messages began to come to the cell phone. Like – Welcome to Saudi and welcome to other places etc. It took some time before I realized to turn it into silent. Otherwise - sleeping even a couple of an hours would not have been possible. Later while checking I found 15 messages. Welcome.

Egipt was supposed to be the most bureaucratic country for passangers who came by car. And it seems to be absolutely right. There has never been so much to do and meet so many officials.

Fortunately at the port the tourist police waited and showed where to go and which paper is needed. And as the ship arrived at 5 o`clock in the morning he called and invited the necessary officals to work. Visa into the passport, then all the documents were copied but then at least three parties of men examined the car. The brightest moment was when the chassi number was imprinted on a special form .

And the traffic police issued local numbers.


While leaving the country they must be returned. And then part of the deposit is returned too.

It took almost 4 hours before I could leave the port.


A stop on the Gulf of Aqaba.


Blog writing shed. As to internet at the moment there is .one of 3G ......which must be shared.Physically, because the wifi sharing does not help when some have broken their wifi card.

If everything goes well I will get my personal SIM card in the evening which could be used with Tele2 stick.


Sinai in the evening.


This kind of rock and sand by the road


Added in 13.02.2011

And again today – no SIM - card. Tomorrow I must go to look for it myself. The problem is that here they want to sell this SIM- card together with USB stick, but here my Tele2 one works here quite well. They said that it won`t but if you insert the card in and put the settings in place correctly there is the connectim too.

The local political situation is now at such a stage that the people are still in Tahiri square wishing to be sure that they have been told the truth and the situation will surely be changed. And in Alzeria and Jemen the crowds have also gathered in the streets. So a great time of changes has begun.

For a change a little about the mountain of Moses.
Down is the Monastry St. Katherina. Now opened only 1 hour a day because of the shortage of tourists. Since the time of the open hours was called in advance I succeeded to be there in time.


And it was not permitted to to climb the mountain alone, it was necessary to have a local guide with. It was said that by camel road the upgoing will be about 3,5 km, and probably so it was because it took about 2 hours.


The panaroma already before the top was powerful.


And this is from the top.




It took almost five hours to climb up and down.

And we were only four tourists up there. So it is a total slump in tourism now. We`ll see what the situation in Sharm el-Sheik and Hurganda is.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

eelviimane pilt on eriti ahvatlev :D