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After a gruelling 14 hour port to port trip I finally reached Egypt from Jordan. The ferry had been boring. It was too long with nothing to do except watch the locals on deck, who made the place look more like a refugee camp, though they enjoyed singing and clapping to pass the time.
I ended up spending my first 2 days in Nuweiba. There was absolutely nothing to do there except lie in the hammocks and drink freshly squeezed juices all day. After the last few weeks of hardcore travelling it was a cool place to chill.
The next stop was Dahab, a hangout for backpackers and wanabe divers. So I stayed here for almost 10 days learning to dive, which was unbelievable. I recommend anyone to give it a go if they ever have the chance. The night diving was spectacular (I have never seen fish sleeping), as were the several excursions away from the touristy areas. When the course was finished I celebrated it Abs style. Drank too quickly, walked back to my room by Stevie at 4 in the morning (a fellow Nottinghamian, despite living in Derby) and then discovered sleeping outside reception an hour later with the hotel's dog, Roy. I later found out that I had had a fight with Roy, though I have no recollection of this whatsoever.
The group of people, both locals and tourists, I met at Dahab were all sound, and I met up with a Chris De Burgh-hating Irishman named Brian who is going through Africa on the same route as me. We decided to head down together, for at least some of the way.
After climbing Mount Sinai for sunrise with him (which involved playing the harmonica whilst River-dancing at one of the Bedouin huts half way up the mountain) we headed to Cairo together. It took the best part of a week to collect visas for the countries we were planning on going through, and after that we were free to do all the touristy stuff.
Tutankhamens room at the National Museum was something special, as was the mummy room, where we saw decrepit bodies still covered in hair, that were thousands of years old. The pyramids, as can be expected, were spectacular also. Here we convinced a Bedouin (or some guy dressed as a Bedouin) on a camel to play the harmonica as Brian once again performed the River-dance whilst we sat on one of the old pyramids.
But perhaps the highlight of Cairo was outside one of its biggest mosques (forget the name). Some school kids started singing for us outside the aforementioned mosque and then Brian got the influential harmonica out. This time it was my time to Riverdance and I happily obliged with one of the 12 year old kids deciding to join me. We looked like a bunch of twats, but it was all good fun.
We went out in Cairo one night but were left disappointed, McDonalds and KFC seemingly the only non-sleazy places still open at night. But our dorm room provided plenty of good times with Tim, the Ukrainian, who tried to play a tape in Brian's IPod, Rui, the Arabic speaking Japanese man and Patrick, the Cameroonian footballer who was getting me to write letters from people I didn't know to other people I didn't know, helping Cameroonian teams come to Egypt for friendly matches, probably with the intention of never leaving. The dorm room was complete mayhem and it was a sad day when Brian and I had to leave for South Egypt. My visa was on the verge of expiring.
We stopped by Luxor for the day, taking in the Valley of the Kings and other numerous sites, before heading to the home of our taxi driver for dinner and to meet his family. That was probably the highlight of the day, not the world-famous relics.
We spent another day in Aswan, where we organised ferry tickets to Sudan and went on a felucca (traditional boat) ride on the Nile. On our penultimate night in Egypt we ended up sleeping on the felucca on the River Nile. It was awing.
2 days later we boarded a boat for Wadi Halfa, the port of entry into Sudan. Egypt had been amazing and one could easily have spent longer than a month there, but it was time to move on.