Monday 15 December 2008

11th December 08

Date: 11th December 08
Location: Cairo, Egpyt
Weather: Clear blue skies, warm day, chilly night. 26°c
Status: Prepared for a little wait now…

Up at first light and had a good breakfast before I started to do a few jobs which were overdue on the Colonel. One of the rear hub gaskets seals has started to leak so I replaced the gasket, checked the axles oil level and replaced the bolts hopefully leaving everything properly sealed.

I decided to grease the propshafts as they haven’t been done for a while and whist tinkering noticed that one of my front shock absorbers has blown leaving lovely oil all over the axle! Struggled to get the nut undone so decided that with only tarmac to go and no noticeable difference in the handling, I’d replace it when I get back to the UK, lazy I know. Polished Bacchus so he looked all smart and new.

Bre, Kees and I then drove into the centre of Cairo through the hectic, unorganised, chaotic traffic…truly some of the worst so far in Africa. It is one of the overriding things I remember from my trip to the city some 20 years ago! Found the Sultan Hotel where the remainder of the Watkins are staying and even managed to find a parking space outside, paid the card system for the day and went inside.

Bre was trying to find new hair to sort out her braids in time for the trip to the UK but here in Arabic Africa there are no back hairdos which use the same material so a fruitless process which took most of the day, we try again in Alexandria.

Kees and I went out to the market and bought a new set of horns each to compete with the mad traffic and horn-madness which Cairo is. His being the craziest of the two with 6 sound adjustable police sirens! Will fit tomorrow.

After a kofta dinner we went back to the hotel and I had a call from Sami, our Libyan fixer, to say that unfortunately the visas won’t be ready until the 17th so we’ll miss the first of the boats across the Med and will now have to wait until the 21st leaving only a day and a half to drive all the way back to the UK from Italy…..and then run a marathon! Yikes.

Drove back the 22kms to the camp and went to bed.

End of day location: Giza, Cairo, Egypt
Distance covered: 45kms

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