Posts Tagged ‘Aswan Ferry’

It definitely has been a crappy last two days, for me at least. Yesterday morning we had to be at the Traffic Police around 8am to give our number plates back and then to be escorted to the ferry. Peter and Aisha was ready and we told them they can get going while we still packed the bikes.

We arrived at the Traffic Police around 8:40am, finding Pete and Aisha still waiting, so at least we weren’t late. As soon as we presented only one number plate per bike (…and that is what they gave us in Alexandria), I just saw the guy shaking his head, explaining to someone that can speak a little english that we needed two plates, they can’t accept only one. My first reaction was ….”What the *&@*%%$ now??”

The more we explained to them we only received one plate, the more they say we need two. We then had to get back on the bikes, ride across town to the Tourist Police to get a report stating that Alexandria only gave us one number plate …. well good luck explaining that to them, all we got was confused looks … my patience has been wearing thin already, I am hot, sweaty and they just stare at us.

I eventually found an older man that speak a little english, went back up to the Tourist Police for him to explain our situation. They then said, we need to go to the normal Police instead of the Tourist Police. We left Delilah to look after the bikes and Lindsay and I walked with the man to the police station. Once we got there, they didn’t allow us into the building as they had prisoners in the office who apparently committed murder, so maybe a good thing.

The older man eventually re-appeared, shaking his head. By this time it was probably two hours later and we had made no progress. We went back to Toursit Police again and by this time I asked if I can phone Mr Salah (the guy who sold us the ferry tickets) to help us. He explained to the tourist police over the phone, but they seemed unwilling to help. Eventually, probably after another hour, they agreed to do a report for us. We had to lie, writing a report that we lost one number plate (so now it’s our fault) and we do not accuse anyone … After probably another 30mins, they translated the reports and we could get on our way.

We arrived back at the Traffic Police, gave them some papers and the police report (which they didn’t even read) and we were free to go to the ferry port. Arriving at the ferry port, more crap … checks, checks and more checks. We had to pay more money … around 253 egyptian pound per bike … and then another check at customs, another 22 egyptian pounds and then another 3 egyptian pounds for a stamp in the passport and then we movd down to the port itself.

The ferry is so overloaded … people everywhere, weird people, some guys wanting to take photos of just the girls, checking them out and just overall very strange. I think by this time I had enough of this country .. just want to leave now.

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Peter and I checking out the barge

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Our bikes loaded on the barge

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Pete driving his landy onto the ferry

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We loaded the bikes and the cars onto the overloaded barge and went inside for our “first class ticket cabins” …. what a load of rubbish …. first class my ass. For a start, my room got hijacked, around 6 sudanese men in my 2 bedroom cabin. Toilets and everything else is just horrible, the only good thing were the cold drinks and water we could buy and maybe the fact that they at least had aircon, but it was so cold … maybe better than hot hey ?

I had to share a very tiny cabin with Lindsay and Delilah, even though I paid 500 egyptian pound for my own first class ticket, but I am not sleeping with 6 other men and all their belongings in a tiny cabin. We had a meal consisting of some beans, boiled eggs, bread and some cheesies and then we decided to go to sleep … what else could you do?

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Andrey, a russia we met, also travelling on a bike

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The meal on the ferry

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The next morning 4:30am was some sort of a loud prayer call or something so that woke us all up. We got up and Lindsay and I sat outside for a while. Around 7am we went past the Abu Simbel, the guys took some photos … I didn’t sorry and we went back to the cabins.

Not sure if I should put this in, but my stomach was not very well at this stage, must have been those beans … I dreaded this as there was no way I was going into those squatting toilets, they stank and was overflowing. I just had to go, but went to the ladies toilet instead, screw them ! at least I felt much better after that.

After loads more checks and forms as we came off the ferry, we were escourted to a “hotel” near the port as our vehicles only arrive tomorrow sometime. We are now staying in this place, which just really consists of a few beds and no running water … but at least they have satellite TV. We are now sitting outside, playing cards and stuff … going to bed soon and hope the bikes come quickly tomorrow so we can get out of this place.

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Today was actually a rest day for us all, not by choice, but very welcoming. We are staying at a lovely hotel, called the Sara Hotel. We had to be in Aswan yesterday morning early to book and pay for the ferry tickets and with all that done, we had a day to spare before the Monday morning ferry departure.

We slept in a little, I only woke up around 9:25am, realising everyone has left me in the room as they all went down for breakfast, the bastards ! I got up and went down to have something to eat.

We then went for a swim in their lovely pool to decide our plan of action for the day. We visited some market in the early afternoon and then through a guy (Mohammed) that Peter met, we arranged for a trip on the Nile river.

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Day out in the market

The trip on the Nile was lovely, I really enjoyed it. Mohammed and his friend, Sherif took us around the Nile as our personal tour guides. We eventually ended up on some “beach” where we went for a swim in the Nile.

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Sherif and Mohammed

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Trip out on the Nile

Mohammed then took us to a Nubian village on the other side of the Nile, his auntys house. Very nice and interesting house, fitted out with some arts and crafts at the back. They also had crocodiles which they raised and then released into the Nile … wait a minute, I swam in the Nile ??? Would not have done if I knew then what I know now.

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The Nubian Village

Mohammed then took us back, we went back to our hotel past this giagantic Christian church in the middle of Aswan. At the hotel, we went for a lovely buffet style dinner followed by some drinks, “sheesha” (hubbly bubbly) by the pool overlooking the Nile … awesome !

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The Christian Church in Aswan

We called it a night, as tomorrow will be a big day. We have to go the the traffic police to give our number plates back, then off to the ferry port to load the bikes and ourselves on this ferry … must say, not looking forward to it.

Some more pictures from the Nile

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We had to be in Aswan this morning at 9:30am to book our tickets for the ferry to Sudan. We ran a little late, so I was concerned we won’t make it … that means another week in Egypt.

We headed off, along the Nile route from Luxor to Aswan. I have to say, I am now glad we did the Desert route in the end, this Nile is route is horrible …. stop start, police checkpoint, taxis …. so, so busy. It may be hot, but at least you move at a constant pace on the desert road.

We arrived in Aswan, heading straight to the Ferry company office to see Mr Salah to book our tickets. As we got there, he was expecting us (send him an email a few weeks ago) … and he told us we had to go to the Traffic Court to get some papers to prove that we have not been in any accidents while in Egypt. He gave is the GPS coordinates and off we went.

Guess what .. as we arrived …. they landy was there .. Pete, Matt and Aisha .. again a wonderful sight. We immediately exchanged contact details so we can stay in contact.

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Re-united again at the Traffic Court

It took a good few ours … ok, probably only 2 and we had our papers. They tried to charge us 50 egyptian pounds each even though we didn’t have to pay anything … they do try their luck, we insisted that we will not pay … but in the end we said we will give 5 each and that’s it .. after lots of hassles, they finally let us go. We went back to the ferry company and paid for our tickets !

While booking our ferry, we asked Mr Salah from the ferry company for a nice camp site with a pool as we now had to stay 2 nights until our ferry on Monday, so he recommended Sara Hotel .. apparently you can camp their as well.

We arrived at the hotel and the staff was very friendly. They gave us a room with 5 beds and aircon for around 10 GBP each per night …. very nice and relaxing place, in fact, I am busy typing this blog next to the pool overlooking the Nile. They gave us free WiFi as well ! I highly recommend this hotel.

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Swimming pool at Sara Hotel

We settled in, after a swim of course … and then went out to town for something to eat …. great city as well .. not as touristy as Luxor, but still great things to do and see.

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Some photos of Aswan at night.

Tomorrow, we just chil at the hotel, swimming, drinking Stella and relaxing …. looking forward to it.