Welcome to Cairo

After traveling for almost 1 year, I now know to trust my gut. For days, I have had some very bad chi in Dahab, which is unfortunate because I really like it here. I decided to listen to my instincts yesterday after a chain of bad events and took the bus all the way from Dahab to Cairo, which is where I am typing this now.

I feld Dahab with my Columbian friend, Simon, after telling Camilo goodbye. The journey was 11 hours because our first bus was spewing diesel smoke on the inside, making everyone high as a kite or lapse into an unnatural, carbon monoxide inspired sleep with their heads bouncing around on their necks. We changed buses in Sharm and the new bus was much nicer, no leg room, but it got us all the way to Cairo and even had AC! I stumbled around Talaat Harb square, which is right in downtown Cairo, looking for a budget hotel. Nearly everything was booked, so I ended up paying $16 for a dirty place, quite a different than the $4 a night I was paying by the Red Sea. It seems most of the downtown hostels and budget hotels are built high up in the old buildings, so you either have to climb many flights of stairs or brave a slow and ancient lift. The weather here is quite cold compared to Sinai, and I am already looking forward to going south again.

We must have been stopped at least 7x at checkpoints to have our passports looked at. The interesting thing is that they never really even looked at them, the police just went through the motions and were more interested in catching Egyptians that did not have the proper paperwork. At the Suez canal, the army guys even herded everyone off the bus and had us line our bags up at our feet for inspection. They randomly selected a few bags using 2 sticks like something a Feng Shui master would use. I am not sure if it is scientific or voodoo, but when the sticks crossed, they would search the bag below them! For once I got off lucky, and was allowed to climb back onto the warm bus as they dumped out the remaining passengers’ luggage.

Cairo is the African equivalent of Bangkok. Its busy, deafening with a chorus of taxis that constantly honk their horns, and dirty. It seems like one of those cities (like Bangkok) that has to grow on you…you hate it and love it. I will only be here long enough to see the famous Egyptian museum, Giza, and get over this terrible sinus infection that I cannot seem to shake. I may also have to get some help for the infected cut on my hand, it seems to be getting worse rather than better. The plan is to travel south back down the Nile, ending up in Hurghada or Sharm for some more diving, then I will fly out of Sharm.

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  1. Salam alaykum,
    your entries are to the point.Hope you are enjoing every minute.Good on you,make the most of it!What’s your next destination?Take care and go easy on the Egyptian men,you’ll give them bad publicity.

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