Sunday, January 24, 2010
I almost expected OB1 to step out of this little green structure.
We crossed the 1000 km mark at some point today on our way to Aswan. Our ride for the last 2 days has been down the very lush eastern shore of the Nile - lots of sugar cane, banana's and various other crops(see the egg plant truck in the pic). The ride was green but the desert still managed to show its face every now and again. Like the picture above, there were times when I felt a little like I was in George Lucas's brain.
The riding has been rich with activity as we have passed through a lot of little towns and enjoyed the cheering and screaming of 1000's of kids. Its a pleasure to see pure non-materialistic excitement being shown by children, brought on by our group of colorful cyclists cruising through their town. That's the positive experience - on the other hand some riders had to endure some rock throwing, a spit or two, and a few attempts to put sugar cane stalks through the spokes( one such attempt earned the culprit a fat lip).
Tonight will be our last in Egypt. Tomorrow we board a ferry which will take us down Lake Nasser to the Sudanese boarder. There seem to be 2 trains of thought as to what our Sudanese experience will be. The Lonely Planet version is beautiful, friendly, unspoiled, amazing. The WikiTravel's conclusion is dont go - due to strict islamic law(no pictures, no booze, etc.), military rule, and a series of uprisings/rebellions/wars. We shall see.
Egypt in summary - good food, lots of desert(Sahara not mousse), vibrant and busy souks and shopping streets and Ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, the former will all be overshadowed by the fact that it was rare to be able to have a conversation with an Egyptian without them trying or succeeding, in having me give them money(for some sort of service of just a handout). Perhaps this is my first experience of many to come which might highlight the negative effect of developed countries' influence in Africa...or maybe just TIA!!
We shall see...
at 5:20 AM