Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Honk for Upper Egypt!

Luxor to village before Qena

Distance: 69.25 km
Time: 4:26:00
Ave Speed: 15.6 km/hr
Max Speed: 22.4 km/hr
Temp: 21 C
Weather: Cooler days, chilly night

Biking up the Nile (El Neel) sounds nonchalantly easy enough, except when the police get involved. We checked out of our hotel and paid 10 pounds ($2) for a boat to ferry us and our bikes to the less crowded west bank.

To the West Bank round two!

Everything started out beautiful and carefree- my spirits elated from a minor funk as we cycled along a small lane. The villages resemble many parts of India; tropical with mud homes and water buffalo everywhere. We made about 18 km before arriving at a police checkpoint where we were refused passage. Too dangerous. No police. No negotiations.

I really want my own pet camel

So Chris and I had to backtrack south of Luxor to cross the bridge, then bike back through the city again. This time we departed on the main road full of heavy load of traffic. The 'touristic' streets are noticably different from regular Egyptian streets, usually marked with a sign and lined in manicured bouganvilla.

"El Touristic" street, landscaped well

We cycled a few hours on the east side, with the road following directly next to a wide tributary. On our right a continual stream of mud houses and fields, most appearing to be full of sugar cane. Huge truckloads stuffed with cane passed us by, otherwise most of the other traffic was the occasional donkey cart.

Bikes along El Neel

At sundown we pulled over to a cluster of homes where an empty patch of brush was cleared. The man nearby (presumably the owner) replied mumkin (is possible) when we asked permission to camp- all set! We popped the tent and settled in for an early, cold night along the Nile.

Tent time!

1 comment:

Arlene said...

If you get a camel, I'll come to babysit!
I loved the story in our 3rd grade reading text about the camel corps in the western US.