Having gotten thus far without any trouble other than the diesel filter, we decided to push our luck and drive to Luxor via the desert road up through the New Valley and hopefully within three days get back to the Nile.
During the day because of Ramadan the streets were empty and we had barely any traffic so the plan seemed plausible. The first stretch was to Farafra, where the filter was replaced and where we spent the night in the Safari Hotel Rahala. The checkpoint entering town wasn't occupied and the next morning there were no police as we left. With luck on our side we made for Dachla, hoping to get there by nightfall. We made such good progress that as we passed through Dachla without being stopped and having time on our side, we decided to carry on to Kharga. By now it was early evening, five kilometers to go and the police had finally caught up with us.
At the Kharga entrance checkpoint a very stringent and ill humoured policeman phoned with someone, presumably in town and probably concerning our arrival. We were allowed to pass and checked into a horrible hotel for the night. Later that evening whilst sitting with my laptop in the lobby a young woman enquired after our names, nationality, destination etc, which I thaught odd as we had given our details as we checked in. Not wanting to be unpolite I replied accordingly and she returned to the reception and spoke to a tall, discret gentleman in a blue shirt who threw a glance in my direction. Presumably the manager. After a few words with her he took a seat and occupied himself with his newspaper. He was still there as I went upstairs and again later as I needed something from the car was sitting in the compound next to the car drinking tea with two or three others. I nodded politely, they replied and I went to bed.
Early the next morning as we came downstairs with our luggage, not intending to have breakfast, the man in the blue shirt was still reading his newspaper. The concierge asked uneasily again after our destination and whether or not we were in need of an escort, which we weren't and then bade me to write something for the police to that effekt and showed toward the man in the blue shirt who had finished his paper and nodded politely. Had he been there the whole night just because of us? I hastily scribbled a line, took a foto of it with my mobile, handed it to the concierge, he gave it to the man in the blue shirt who nodded politley and put on his jacket. As we drove from the hotel he stood at a roundabout vis a vis, pointed in the direktion we were taking and politely wove goodbye.
At the next checkpoint before Baris where the road turns east to Luxor no one was surprised to see us. At least five or six had bothered to come out and have a look. even the military were present. After the usual procedure, names, nationality, whence and whither, we were allowed to go.
The road then became very remote. There were no settlements, few landmarks, and scarcely any traffic. At the Luxor checkpoint they were very unfriendly and one of them even asked for aspirin (backsheesh) which of course we didn't have and which was particularly unpleasant because he was one of those ununiformed. At last we were allowed to drive on and were glad to arrive with time to spare.
- Thankyou Tina
- Thankyou Man in the blue shirt