05 enero 2008


Due to the surprise that was waiting for us in Cairo; as normal people, we took a night bus which run up by the coast of the Suez Gulf, to the Egyptian capital. The first, we contacted with Mostafa of CS, who lives in Giza, officially another city, nowadays totally joined to the huge city of Cairo. We have arrived on holidays, the second "Eid" of the year, three festival days in which animals are sacrifice to share the meat in three parts, one to the neighbors, other to the family, and the last one for the poor people. Animals are seen on the streets, where they will be sacrifice; but what is noticed more, are the crowds of people on the streets, and with the traffic of Cairo is a great madness.

Undoubtedly the most expected moment here for us, and already during some time ago, it was the arrival of part of our family; we went by bus to the airport (more than 1 hour), and this was what we found....

From this moment, Vicky, Marian and Jose, joined to "where are they" for a few but intense days. The family arrived with a lot of gifts and provisions, as some Spanish food, new boots, and a great change in our equipment, a laptop.

After four days in Cairo, we decided to see the Wonder of the World, which is in Giza, the pyramids of Keops, Kefren and Micerinos. When we arrived the people cheated us trying to convince us that we only can enter by camel or donkey, but from the Egyptians, we only should believe a tenth part of what they say. The three mass of stones are impressive and stand out of the small pyramids of the women (usual in these countries); the men of the camels harassed us constantly, saying that they don’t charge us for take a photo; of course for saying that, in the end we had troubles for don’t pay the photo which he said before that was free of charge…

Nearby is the sphinx, used in the past for practices of shot, and which has an illness in its interior, if it doesn’t cease will ended up destroying it.

Another place to don’t miss, is the Egyptian museum; it must be taken with a lot of patience because it is enormous and can end up being tiring; anyway it’s very impressive what the ancient dynasties as Tutankhamen, Ramses II, Tuthmosis III...etc, lent us…
The museum is in Taharir Square, the heart of Cairo, where we have passed most of the time; for us it was a sort of holidays, everything had been more relaxed, visiting some bars, restaurants, or smoking the Shisha, something very traditional in the Egyptian life.

We were very lucky to have found Mostafa; on Christmas Eve we could prepare a dinner in his house, and make a nice party with special food that we didn’t taste since a long time ago.

We went towards north by train, Alexandria, an ancient Greek capital; here we entered the catacombs and visited the big mosque. But the most interesting thing was to see the authentic part of the city; small streets full of shops, people who stared us, and mountains of rubbles and rubbish.

We decided to return to the paradise that we discovered in Sinai to enjoy it with the family; we took a bus from Alexandria to Nuweiba with a stop in Cairo, 13 hours in total up to the village of the Red Sea, where we had more surprises, we met again recent friends... Pavel and Maria…

During these days of party and cold in Spain, we were a couple of days under the subtropical sun and making snorkeling seeing the coral reefs.

Back in Cairo, we didn’t do a lot, we dedicated the time to enjoy the few days that we had with the family. Mostafa gave us again the opportunity to pass a special New Year’s Eve inviting us to the house of his mother with his family and friends of different countries, with a menu prepared by all the guests, an excellent and tasty buffet of food of different countries.
Here, is not very important this day, simply around midnight they did a countdown and then hugs. Keeping the tradition, at the Spanish midnight, we ate the 12 grapes with the sound of two bottles of beer. (Spanish tradition)

The 2008 doesn’t start very nice; first the farewells that never are good, and second to have to stay in Cairo to do paperwork, something that usually takes time; visas and the visa extension of Egypt... We change house for some days, Taki lives a little nearer to the city centre, although we couldn’t do anything of paperwork because was on weekend. So, we did some tourism in the city, getting a new vision and different views.

The neighborhood where we are, is on the high class people; but only two streets behind, crossing the railway, it is like to go to another world; very, very narrow streets full of stall, rubbish, tuk-tuk… and among that, the noise of the whistles of the ramshackle cars and the shouts of the sellers…

We used the subway to go to the Citadel, in the subway we must go separate, the first two coaches are only for women; the rest, for souls without taming that when they see a foreigner woman they think they can do and touch whatever they want of her…
The Citadel is found on the top of a hill, and it has a big central mosque; it is too touristic, because of that, the best was to pass through the markets and the daily Egyptian life. Real markets, which doesn’t receive foreigners and people are honest and don’t cheat us; very different from the day by day in the city where we have to fight with all the sellers to be cheated as less as possible.

Tomorrow we will return to Mostafa’s house, with desires of travel to the desert; but before we have to see what happen with the Sudanese visa.

18 diciembre 2007


Before to catch the crazy Ferry, we met in Aqaba, Florine and Ziat, and they invited us to eat in the house in the oldest part of the city; the menu: Bedouin rice, which we ate as the traditional way, by hand.
The staff of the Ferry told us that we had to be at the port at 22:00h. and the boat will departure at 01:00h. The people kept entering the boat without ceasing, and all of them were finding places on the floor, on the restaurant, mosque… to sleep. As we saw that the ferry didn’t departure, we also accommodate ourselves on the floor, and around 6:00am we departure to Egypt.

Afterwards the paperwork to do the visa, everything among the trucks unloading the staff of the people and throwing it everywhere on the ground.
Since we crossed the border in Jordan until we arrived to Egypt, passed 14 hours, and the boat trip only takes 4 hours. We avoid the mass of taxi drivers and a Bedouin offered to take us to a camp that we have heard, "Greenbeach camp", it is managed by a very nice Sudanese guy and he rents huts just 4 steps from the Red Sea for 10£EG, (1,25 Euros). We went just for a day, but we couldn’t resist it and we spent more time; Nuweiba is an authentic paradise in the Sinai. In front of the hut there are coral reefs, and just snorkeling, we could see lion-fish, moray, and plenty of colorful fishes.

Convinced of the possibility to travel by hitchhike, we went up to the main road, with a constant harassment of all the cars saying: taxi! taxi!
It was easy to stop to the cars but… each one has their fees to go to Dahab. After an hour fighting for traveling without paying, we realized that, ALL is for money…
We managed to travel about 15 km without paying, and when we were in the middle of the desert, and nothing around, we told to the drivers that we didn’t have any money, (to prove them), but it doesn’t matter!! If you don’t pay, you stay there…

In the end we pay to one guy the same price of the bus to Dahab. This city is totally different, here the loneliness and the paradise is finish, everywhere are restaurants and people harassing you to put you inside the agencies, the shops of groceries with European prices... and plenty of dive agencies.
The best thing of this place was when we approached to the "Blue Hole", a huge fossa in the sea of 127 meters that falls straight down from the shore of the coast.

Again a Bedouin stopped to help us on the way to the Blue Hole; he told us that he had a lunch with some friends in a canyon among the mountains near there; he offered us to go and of course we went. Talking with them, we asked them if they were Egyptian, and they denied clearly: We are Bedouins!!!

We saw that there are a lot of rivalry between them, turning back to Dahab, we stopped in a shop in the Bedouin territory, and the man told us the real prices, and he left us very clear that they are Bedouin and the prices are equal for everybody, they don’t cheat as the Egyptians do.

The prices of the buses are a big temptation, but hitchhike is adventure and much better, despite giving a thousand turns to find the exit road, we didn’t surrender and went out the city on foot; on the way… a great surprise, the Bedouin of yesterday!!!; he brought us up to the police checkpoint.
This is another story, in 4 days, the police asked for our passport daily, Egypt is a country for the organize tourist, and when the see two foreigners loose, they afraid and start to make questions. In this last checkpoint we told them that we were going by walk to Sharm (100 km), because if we say hitchhiking perhaps they think we are crazy...
We look for a good place, because we knew that we had lot of time to “fight” with the drivers. But no!, the one who stop was a Lebanese, a very nice man who didn’t want our money. He took us to a café with which he has business in Sharm el-Sheikh, he treated us as kings giving us coffee, laptop to use internet, and everything we needed…

We had made an appointment with Jay of CS in the afternoon, so we had plenty of time to see the city; but we didn’t like at all; we felt as two strangers among so much luxury. Massive tourism, an artificial city for relax and party; totally different to Egypt, everything is impeccable, new, as in Europe, even the prices.
We escape from there to eat something outside of the tourist places, because the beaches or places to sit are by payment, and which was our surprise that one guy came to throw us away, we cannot stay there, and we must go to the area where all the tourists are.
Discouraged we walked through the street of the beach in the fact of the looks of the people for our remarkable big backpacks, and suddenly, I felt a jostle on my back; a girl with a big backpack, asking us if we were hitch-hikers. Finally we found our company, a couple from Russia; Pavel and Maria, who have flown up to here to start their journey by hitchhike to Russia. Now even more we are the attention on the street, four backpackers among elegant people; it was great to find them!

We went to meet Jay, and he was very nice with Pavel and Maria, because they didn’t have a place to sleep and he offered them to pinch the tent in his garden. Finally we passed everyday all together in Sharm the- Sheikh. Near Jay’s house there is a small cliff on the shore of the Red Sea, which is full of coral reefs; there, we spent the last days; a summer, warm days just only a week for Christmas.

This night we depart to the Egyptian capital, Cairo; where a big surprise is waiting for us......
We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and happy New Year 2008!!

11 diciembre 2007


Jordan, a new country to which we arrived by hitchhike with a worker of the border. The taxi drivers of the border are really boring, they said that they don’t charge us, and try to cheat us with their stories. The Jordanian visa can be done on arrival, it costs 10 dinars, (10 €) and only can be paid in Dinar, they make you to do a really bad exchange at the border to be able to pay it.

After 4 km of border, we are already in Jordan and with the thumb up waiting for a lift. As we are in border area we must to be careful and ask if the car is a taxi… when a car stopped we asked him, and he thought it was a good idea to be a taxi, so he said, yes! We left, but in a second he said: - ok, ok, no money! He left us quite near of our destination, but we had to walk even more to take another road. The people like a lot the tattoos, and they stop us to see mine, they called us to drink tea and speak, we accepted again in a shop with a mechanics, a really good meant tea; the pity that afterwards we had to refuse other offers, otherwise, we will never arrive.
Without hitchhiking, a car took us up to Irbid, where we met the guys of CS, who live in the university area, in a street that is in the Guinness World Records Book, because in just 1km, there are about 120 Internet Café.
The guys of the club are Yemenis, and they introduce us their friends, a Syrian, a Kurdish and another from Gaza; with who we exchange our different ways of life.

From Irbid we moved several days to different historical places, a very important was Jerash. The student card in Jordan, it doesn’t work, and the entrance fee to Jerash ruins is 8 Dinars (8 €), of course we didn’t pay it; another thing not, but Roman ruins we have seen...a lot. Besides, we are thinking and saving money for the super-expensive entrance fee of Petra (21 Dinars each).
It was very interesting to meet and to speak with a young boy who sold postcards, and who is learning Spanish with the tourist. He was sure that those prices for us (Spanish) are very cheap, that it is nothing... this is the image that have the Europeans, Euros with legs…

We turned back to Irbid by hitchhike; here it is like “hitchhiking a la card”, we only need to wait to the vehicle that we need, and put the thumb. Besides, the man that picked us up, left us in our street in Irbid, such a good luck!

Another day we spent the day in Umm Qays, an ancient Greco-Roman city situated in the triple border of Jordan, Syria and Israel; due to this controversial area we must pass plenty of military checkpoints, which reminded us to our days in Kurdistan.
The city is much destroyed but we enjoyed the nice views over the Tiberiades Lake, (Galilee Sea) and the Golan Highs, a very troubled area, disputed between Syria and Israel.

We continue to the Jordan capital city by hitchhike; here it happens the opposite of other countries, if you are foreign it is easier that someone take you; we place ourselves after other local hitchhikers, and the cars that didn’t stop for them, always stopped for us. A nice guy brought us up to Amman, he insisted all the time to teach us Arabic, and all the way talked to us in his language. And once again, like a private taxi, he took us up to the door of the house of Nour, the guy of CS.

The days in Amman were very calm due to the shortage of interest of the Jordan capital, in the ancient part of the city, the houses are piled up on others, and among them, a small Roman theatre.

One of the days we went to the Dead Sea, placed at the lowest point of the planet, 395 meters below the sea level. The truck driver who brought us, chose a special place for us, a free beach, solitary, and with hot springs. As everybody knows, this sea contains so much salt that people float, it is impossible to sink; the stones of the shore are entire with crystallized salt and the water is like oily, very dense; the hot springs were perfect to bathe afterwards, because after swim in the Dead Sea, the body prick.
A man that came to give a bath too, brought a handful of mud from the Dead Sea, and cover us with it, people say that it is very good for the skin...

Crossing the desert towards the south, we stopped at Petra, an obliged stop in our journey. We knew that the prices are exorbitant, so we were investigating how to "pay less". Nour, the guy from Amman told us about the existence of a shop in Wadi Musa (Petra) that organize clandestine entries in Petra; this shop is find by a sticker over the door; and we went there without think twice. We didn’t know with whom we should talk, but it was supposedly to the shopkeeper; after buying something we talked to him, but the guy didn’t speak English well, and didn’t understand us. When we thought that everything was lost, we went back at night to the shop and we found another person that told us "I am the one who keeps the secret of Petra"; we organize everything, and we made an appointment at 5 am. The car left us in one side of Petra, and in the middle of the night, we went down through the rocks of the mountain in a great descent.

Our "guide" got lost for a while, and the daylight was coming over us; finally he managed to find the canyon that broght us to the heart of Petra. When we arrived to this point we had to be more cautious, because at that point of Petra, the tourists hadn’t arrived yet, so we hid in one of the tombs, and later we went up to a hill to control the main canyon until we saw the first tourist. It was amazing when we saw the most important monument of Petra from the top of the hill!

Later, we introduce ourselves in the touristic group. In 9 hours we visited all Petra, a visit that normally is done in 2 or 3 days. Here we leave the photos of the Eighth Wonder of the World, which the Nabateans left us 2.200 years ago.

The day after, we left Wadi Musa by walk among the whistles of the taxi drivers, all of them wanted to bring us, even they cheated us telling that we were going by the wrong way to Aqaba. The last taxi driver came with another passenger, and started to talk to us in Spanish, of course we didn’t listen to him... but the guy insisted, and talking with him, result that he lives in Spain and he is married to a Cantabrian girl! (Where we live)

In Aqaba, we finished the Jordan travel; the city is in the south end of the country, in the only exit to Red Sea, and where 4 countries are together in very few coastal kilometers; Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. The people of the HC received us as old friends, and in these days Mohammad, Ahmad and Shameh, showed us all the area, they even took us by boat to see the corals and they prepared a lunch in the sea.

We did some shopping and we saw 100% how the sellers cheat the tourist. We went with Mohammad and he asked first; when we went alone after him, the price of the product increased 75%, and the quality of it as well... Knowing the real price, we tried to bargain, but they don’t want; the tourist have a different price, that’s all. So we made the shopping as the rich people, seating in the car, and Mohammad helping us to buy it…

This night we pass to another stage of the journey, we change the continent in a very expensive boat. There are only 7 km from Jordan to Egypt by Israel, but if we tread this country, it means not to go to many Muslim countries, so we had to take this boat for 50 US$.