Thursday, 25 December 2008

15th December 08

Date: 15th December 08
Location: Sidi Barrani, Egypt
Weather: Blue skies and sunshine, hazy p.m., 25°c
Status: Still unsure about the next few days and VERY FRUSTRATED……

Up as the first truck of the morning started it loud, clanging diesel engine next to the tent meaning further rest was impossible leaving getting up as the only option. Still only 80kms to go until we reach the border town of Soloum so no point staying in bed!

Kees had a few problems getting his truck up to full speed for the first part of the journey today making us think that he has something wrong with his fuel or air supply to the engine, further investigation to follow…

Breezed through the 80kms and arrived at the police checkpoint outside of the border town so the usual interrogation and paper checking that accompanies the edge of a country, “How many days are you staying for? Where are you staying? Where are you from? etc.

We had no idea where they’d actually allow us to camp up and so asked the friendly police their advice, the Sita Hotel as it’s the only one in town came the reply ao off we went to find it. in fact it was well signed, they stood out being the only ones in English through the entire main street and we pulled into the car park to enquire as to where we could park. The young manager showed us to the rear car park which was perfect as it was hidden from the road and bar the tight squeeze for Kees’s truck gave us a great area to stretch, empty and service the trucks in.

Whilst relaxing in the sun reading a book my phone rang and it was Sami our Libya visa helper, he told us the visas would be ready on the 20th at 14:00hrs…..WHAT I SAID, BUT YOU SAID THE 17TH at the latest….I was furious and after some discussion he said he’d speak to immigration again to try and get it brought forward…it would mean ther’d be no chance of making the boat on the 21st and being home for Christmas Eve for the marathon, Balls.

We walked into the town found an ATM, internet café and bought some snacks all the time welcomed to the town by the locals who’d ask where we were from etc. I wasn’t in the mood and should have been more forthcoming but the timing wasn’t perfect to hold a conversation that’s all!

Back to the camp and had some dinner before going to bed to watch a movie. I spoke to Sami briefly who again said he’d do his best to try for the earlier date and I left it at that…nothing more I can do! If we don’t get it until later then I won’t make Xmas Eve and will feel as if this part of the expedition has been a failure as any other date will really loose the significance and attention that a final marathon would deserve.

To say I’m going to bed tonight a little annoyed and disappointed would be true….night.

End of day location: Soloum, Egypt
Distance covered: 83ks

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