To The Red Sea
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
I pry myself away from Luxor, and move East towards the Red Sea. Unexpectedly I pass through a huge rocky mountain range before dropping down to sea level, and spontaneously I decide to wild camp a night. I simply drive off the road, and then further and further into a rocky canyon. After a while I realize I could keep driving in here for hours and I would find hundreds of ideal campsites. With any being as good as the next, I simply pull in behind a rocky outcrop where I have some shelter from the still relentless wind.
Again the peacefulness is all encompassing, and I enjoy a small campfire while taking in the still breathtaking stars on display.
In the morning I make my way to the paradise that is El Gouna, where I meet up with a great friend I have not seen for a few years. This little beach side resort is a literal paradise, and over a few days we find all sorts of trouble and fun. We’re even asked to act as models for a photo shoot for a new boat, which is the perfect chance for some wake boarding. We ride bikes around, checkout all the local bars and my friend goes kite surfing most days.
The highlight comes when we drive South to Marsa Alam, the SCUBA capital of mainland Egypt. Here we camp in tents right on the beach, and go diving multiple times each day. We walk in right off the beach after gearing up, and the reef and marine life are easily the best I have ever seen in my life. I haven’t been diving for ten years since Colombia, though with my friend who is an Instructor I soon get back in the swing of it all and we have a great time and spot all kinds of beautiful sea life.
Before I can ship the Jeep back to North America it must be spotlessly clean for customs requirements – which is going to take multiple rounds – so one sunny afternoon I get a start by vacuuming it for the first time ever, then pressure washing the outside and wiping over the inside for a few hours. It’s not even close to clean enough, but it’s a good start.
Over the course of a few days – and a few beers – the reality of where I am and what it means starts to actually sink in. It’s great to be with a great friend who can ask me real questions and help me understand everything.
I really have driven the Jeep right around Africa, just like I dreamed I would.
I faced all the challenges, and I overcame all the hurdles.
There were a more hard days than I care to remember, countless breathtaking days and I have a head full of memories I have not even begun to process yet.
It has been all the adventure I ever dreamed possible – and more.
The adventure of a lifetime, for the second time.
I can’t believe I really have done it.
This is going to take some getting used to.
I have one more massive destination coming up.