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Published: November 28th 2007
Traveling this route, as we have done, we expected to meet up with others doing the same sort of thing - and we have not been disappointed.
Firstly in Turkey, at the balloon campsite, we met a couple of Dutchmen, Luke and DeeDee on motorbikes whom we expected to see more of as we progressed southwards. We haven’t seen them again, but we know they are ahead of us.
In the middle of the Sinai mountains we met a German - this time on a pushbike, would you believe! And we saw him again, a few days later, when we queued for our Sudanese visas together. He was perfectly content (and very fit!) and didn’t expect to complete his journey to Capetown in less than a year. I doubt if we will see him again.
Also in this visa queue were a young couple, Cathy and Glyn, traveling on two BMW motorbikes. We met up with them again in the campsite in Luxor, but they left before us. We heard in Khartoum that they had a rough time on the Road to Hell (Wadi Halfa to Dongola) where Cathy had fallen off her bike a couple of times but fortunately wasn’t too badly hurt. But they are now well ahead of us and I doubt if we shall see them again either.
Also in Luxor were Bernard and Maria, Germans, who had spent over a year preparing their 4x4 truck for this journey to Capetown. Bernard had bought the chassis and the shell of the box-camper to affix to it, and then completed all the interior work himself. He had made a good job of it and it had a shower and loo inside. (He could not understand how we coped without our loos). We met them again at Aswan and indeed they accompanied us on the Ferry to Wadi Halfa and shared the wonderful accommodation at The Nile Hotel (which none of us will ever forget!). We haven’t seen them again but we do indeed wonder how they coped with the Road to Hell. We may meet up again and, if so, it will be most interesting to learn how they have fared.
In Khartoum we camped next to Lucas and Jeanne from Belgium who were traveling in a 20 year old Toyota campervan. Lucas had been on the road through India and the Far East for well over a year and was now traveling northwards through Africa. He still had the Western side of Africa to visit and then wanted to tackle the Americas. Jeanne wasn’t always with him as she had retired from a job at the Commission HQ in Brussels, but she flew backwards and forwards to join her husband as and when she could. They are a great couple and were a fund of helpful information for us.
In the Simeon Mts we passed an old Landrover Defender with a young couple leaving the park as we were entering. We caught up with them at Bahir Dar, in the Ghion Hotel campsite to learn that they were a married couple, Gavin from NZ and Katherine (Katkin) a nurse from Buckinghamshire. They were driving back to Kiwi via South Africa where they intended to ship their car to Perth and “do” Australia on the way before settling down somewhere near Auckland. They were a great fun couple and we spent quite a bit of time with them and even met up with them again in Lalibela. Hopefully we will see them later on in our travels.
Also at the Ghion was a young mechanical engineer from Axminster in Dorset who was traveling alone on his motorbike. How these people manage to carry all the kit they need on their motorbikes never ceases to amaze me. But they do, and they are well clad and usually very tidy too. He had already biked through the Americas and India/Iran so is an old hand at the traveling business. He really was most interesting to talk to.
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