The Temple of Karnak
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
I move North from Abu Simbel, and am staggered by the number of tourists getting around. I see a endless train of enormous tour buses, packed to the hilt with mostly European travelers. It is such a strange sight after Sudan, and I struggle to get my head around it.
I filled my Titan extra gas tank to the brim in Djibouti, fearful of shortages in both Ethiopia and Sudan. Back then it was extremely expensive, but great insurance. I’ve been carting it around full ever since, and now here in Egypt there is no worries about shortages or finding stations, so I finally empty it, after driving over 3,000 miles with it full.
I pass through Aswan, wandering up and down the river before pushing on to Luxor. Out on the highway the wind is still vicious, so instead I move South along the East side of the massive river, passing through endless small towns and villages, all busy harvesting the endless sugar cane fields.
I find a great place in the center of Luxor that allows camping in the parking lot, and I set about exploring the city.
I walk to the Temple of Karnak, and am staggered by the sheer size of the temple, columns and all the buildings. It’s great to wander around in my own little world, turning down all offers for guides and to buy cheap trinkets.
Egypt feels like Sudan on steroids – much faster, much louder, much busier, but underneath it still has the same friendly and welcoming people. Drinking extremely strong coffee in local places quickly becomes a habit.
Looking at maps I would love to drive North along the Western Desert Road, but I’m told the Police and Military won’t allow me to go that way – it’s too close to Libya and not safe enough for a foreigner. They also won’t let me cross the Sinai to Israel, and there is no chance of getting a visa for Libya, much less being permitted to drive even close to it.
All that is to say Egypt will be the end of the line for this expedition, and so the preparations for shipping the Jeep have begun in earnest.
I can’t believe it’s almost over.