Saturday, July 18, 2009

Eleven Easy Steps to Enter Egypt

After our stay in Mitzipi Ramon with Adi, and the last night with another couchsurfer Jenny (an english teacher from South Africa) with whom we took in the sunset and saw the hyena 'skulking' around as we decided was appropriate to term it at the end of the world. The end of the world is what Jenny called it when the road stopped. It literally turned to dust and a rough, rocky track descended into the crater floor.

The next day we decided to hitchhike to Eilat to try to cross the border, since hitchiking in Israel is common place in the South and safe. Mostly we saw young families heading on the one road that led to the resort town of Eilat. Jack and I crooned away on the guitar, danced and tried to get a ride. After we exhausted our efforts a white truck (everyone seemingly drives white vehicles) pulled up. A young guy, whose name I cannot remember nor pronounce, loaded us in and we set off. He spoke a bit of english and told us he was visiting friends in Eilat. He was a twenty three year old army officer who cammanded a battalion of tanks, even spending time in the war torn region of the gaza strip. At one point in the trip the traffic was backed up and we went off roading, bypassing the line of cars... and we made it in due time to Eilat and he dropped us off at the bus station.

As I mentioned above, it takes eleven exciting and easy steps to get to Egypt across land. (1) Catch a bus to the border area (called Taba) and walk a hundred feet; (2) Little taba snack bar and cold water fountain; (3) Passport pre-check; (4) Passport control booth, one has to pay 95 Israeli shekels to leave the country, 95! Ludicris!; (5) Israeli last pastport check where they stamp your passport; (6) Stroll through no-mans land; (7) Egyptian passport control- fil out entry form, get stamp; (8) Egyptian security (X-ray machine); (9) Past border passport check and entrance to Egypt fee; (10) You are now encircled by twenty bedouin tribesmen who bicker in arabic about who gets to drive you to your destination because the buses are done for the day, you try to strike a deal, the tourists in your group look either bored or confused, your luggage is loaded and strapped to the top of a random mini-bus so you get inside; (11) Welcome to Egypt! As you speed across the Sinai, taking bends in the road at a neck-cracking, bone crunching hold on for dear life! Plus pass a million border security checkpoints.....

Luckily, we arrived in Dahab is good and food is cheap! Unfrtunatly we cannot go to the pyramids, long story short, we did not recieve the appropriate visa to visit anywhere outside of the Sinai, nor do we have the funds to retrieve that visa, nor the time....

It is HHHOOOTTTTTT, more updates I want to tell you about the Black Hebrews! remind me....



  1. Wow...eleven easy steps indeed. Too bad about the pyramids...I mean, you guys haven't even seen anything remotely cool yet! Entire trip a write off. Oh well;)
    Black Hebrews? Now we think you have sun stroke hehe!

  2. It is sad about not seeing the pyramids... but I heard they are not that great anyway... HAHA joking!!! :( <<<<< my sad face for you!!!!!!

  3. It is HHOOOOOTTTTT here too. I feel your pain. Hey, have I told you about the book you must read? If I have, I apologize for repeating myself.

    It's called "Off the Map" and it's by two unknown authors - girls actually who backpack through Eastern Europe. They originally wrote the book as a zine while living in a flat in Prague. I started re-reading it recently and it reminds me so much of your adventures. When you get back to Canada, I'll mail you a copy. Unless of course you've already read it...