Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last part of the epic Egypt adventure with AC

Hello hello.... Its been a while since I had a full post on here. Been traveling quite a bit. Since then at one point i visited Asia, Europe and Africa in a span of less then 12hrs. Even camped out on the roof of the Jeep 30 miles from the Libyan boarder!

Here is a link to the last post about Egypt. Private show at the Temple of Karnak.

The next day after the Karnac Light and Sound show we visited it during the day.

One of the "interesting" things about Egypt is that you can go places or see things that you normally cant or are not allowed to... You just have to negotiate and barter a little with the locals.

All pics are click-able for a larger version.

Here we are leaving our cruise ship... was a great 4 days!

After leaving the cruise at Luxor we flew to Sharm el Sheik which is a resort town at the South East tip of the Sinai Peninsula. 
The original plan was that the Jeep was going to be flat bedded from Cairo to our hotel but some last minute hicups from the dealership made it mission impossible... But thankfully a friend was able to pickit up early and take it to his house before we arrived.

Once at Sharm we stayed at the the Hilton Waterfalls. I booked a deluxe room but since I have Hilton Gold status and tourism is down they went ahead an upgraded us to their best suite. Closest to the ocean and on the highest floor!

We arrived a bit late so had room service on the balcony.

After spending the night in Sharm the plan was to wake up relatively early and head north to our beach Bedouin camp; Basata... But we were a little tired and spent the day swimming in the ocean and pool.

We ended up leaving Sharm in the afternoon and arriving in the evening to Basata.

Basata is Egypts first Eco-tourism Lodge. Sheirf the owner has built it using traditional Bedouin techniques and goes was out of his way to leave the smallest ecological foot print. I am talking water desalination plant, recycling water, growing his own vegetables, separating the trash and feeding the organic matter to animals and much more... Hightly recommended! Dont have to many pictures... But lets just say our beach hut was 10 meters from the sea!

Main communal area where the dining room, lounge, kitchen and bakery are.

Kitchen area. You cook all your own food during the day. They cook dinner.

After staying a night in Basata we woke up early to meet our guide; Eid. He was going to lead us though the Sinai peninsula for a 2 day expedition.

Here we are after trekking up a large rock that has a this wind carved hole... The wind channels though and is pretty windy.

This next picture is a result of some very crazy and life threatening activities. To summarize as we were driving along we stopped for a break and Eid said we could go explore. I saw a big long sandy  decent into a canyon but I knew that if we drove in it would be near impossible to drive out of... So we did not. As we were ready to move on there was some miss communication due to the language and we ended up driving down it thinking that was the plan and we were going to drive out. After driving down into the canyon I looked back and our guides were not coming in their Land Cruiser... Oh oh. The sand was so soft that I spent 30 minutes just trying to turn the jeep pointing up hill. I figured it was going to take us 5hr getting out by using the cars floor mats ontop of the sand to inch out. 

- In the sandy desert you normally deflate the jeeps tires from the road pressure of 37psi to about 20-25psi. This makes the tire deflate and squish thus increasing its contact patch with the sand and giving you more traction and float over the sand. -

I lowered the pressure to 15psi but was never able to go more then a few inches before getting stuck in the sand again... We finally were found by the guides and they told us to lower the pressure down to 7psi.... You would kick the tire and it was like jelly! I still figured it was going to take us a few hours to get out so we got back in the Jeep and tried to drive out... Since I figured we were not going anywhere soon I did not put on my seat belt and did not ask the others to do so either. The Jeep climbed out of the canyon like a bat out of hell! In soft sand speed and momentum are your best friends so under the direction of the guide I floored it and drove out. The guide seemed to know exactly where to go... A little left, a little right "allatul" (straight in Arabic).... We got to the top of a sand dune going 45* to the edge and to our surprise the other side was basically a sheer drop off. This was the life threatening part. If we would have driven off it going 45* we would have flipped and rolled/tumbled down the whole dune and would have suffered very serious injuries. Thankfully my years of driving race cars on race track allowed my instinct to without hesitation flick the steering wheel DOWN into the drop off and the Jeep went straight down with out flipping. Lets just say when we go to the bottom I looked at the guide was had fairly dark skin from all his life living in the desert... and he was as white as a ghost! Disaster avoided... you could imagine we were 2 to 3 hr away from the closest paved road and 5 to 6 hr away from the closest hospital.

In the pic you can see how deflated the tires were - 7psi - At 7psi hardly any air comes 
out of the tire when you try and deflate them!

Here is Angeline after we rock crawled up a mountain and then drove across edge of a steep cliff that was maybe 1ft wider then the Jeep... When we drove though here a month before with the Jeep club, most of the lady passengers elected to walk across instead of ride across in the Jeeps.

 Here we are close to "The Green Eye". Its a large oasis in the middle of the desert... You can see the trees in the distance.

Jeep all packed up after camping overnight.

 Hiking though "The Colored Canyon" 

Hard to tell from the picture but we had to squeeze though under that bolder... Or jump over it to the ground... About 10ft

 Last desert lunch before heading back to Basata.
 This night we went to dinner at a place called "Castle Zaman". Its a castle/mini resort that's up on a hill with a spectacular view of the mountains, Red Sea, Jordan and Saudi Arabia!

"Sea Food Orgy"

We ended up staying an extra night but our beach hut and all the others were booked so we stayed in one of the chalets.

Woke up very early on our last day to see the sun rise.

Bay at the entrance to Taba!

Well... that's all folks! Special thanks to Angelina Chimenti, was an epic trip never to be forgotten and hopefully repeated!

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