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May 2001 Daily Diary

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(Jordan, Egypt)

01.05.2001

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Today we woke up early and went to the post office to send back stuff we do not need.  Afterwards we went to the Dead Sea. Swimming in the Dead Sea was cool, but very salty. It is impossible to drown. On the way back we hitched a ride with two men,  who took us all the way back to Amman.  It was a crazy ride,  but we got there alive.  After taking the wrong bus, to the wrong bus station,  we finally found our bus to Petra.  

02.05.2001

Today we spent the whole day at the Petra Ruins.  They are spectacular and everything one has ever read or seen is to be believed.  The ruins are just amazing.  One thing stunk,  and that was the weather.  Later on the park security started closing off the ruins because of flash flooding. Late in the afternoon the main entrance and exit point were closed, so we had to hitch a ride with a German tourist bus back to town.  In Wadi Mousa,  the main road down to the ruins also had a flash flood, where cars were destroyed.  Again we hitched a ride to center of the town, this time with a French Tourist Bus.  Hopefully tonight we can upload our site again.

03.05.2001

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We tried to catch the 6:00 am bus to Wadi Rum,  but it never showed up.  So we decided to take the bus to Aqaba and to be dropped off  along the way at the intersection to Wadi Rum. We then were able to hitch a ride eventually for free to Wadi Rum.  The free ride took a while to get,  a lot of drivers wanted money.  In Wadi Rum we looked around to see what type of tours were available in the desert.  We finally went with Mohammed,  who we a met before at the intersection.  We were a group of eight people from France and Japan.  We drove around the desert,  looking at different natural wonders,  like Rock Bridges, Siqs, and sand dunes where we went sand jumping.  In the evening we watched a beautiful sunset at Um-Sabatah  which was just amazing how the sun set over the desert. We then enjoyed a great Bedouin meal. The meal consisted of salad, yogurt, rice, and chicken.  In the evening Bedouins played typical music and danced around the fire. We were lucky to have such a nice group of people.  In the night Kirk asked Mohammed if he had a web site.  He did not.  Kirk then offered to make one for him.  His eyes lit up.  So we started to develop a web site which we continued the next day.  That night Kirk  did not have all the cables with him,  so he had to pick them up in the village.  On the way there and on the way back,  the truck got stuck in the sand, so he had to push a lot and in the end they had to walk back to the camp.  We had planned to stay only one night,  but Mohammed offered us another tour and night in the desert for free. So we took him up on his offer.   

04.05.2001

Today we got up early to go back to the village with Mohammed where we had breakfast and worked on his web site.  Afterwards we went with  him to try and get tourists for his tours.  We only found one other.  But in the end he decided to give the other tourist to his brother's group and we would get a private tour of the desert.  He took us to all the places we did not see the day before.  We also took hundreds of pictures for his web site.  He loved to pose with his mobile telephone.  We also got a very short ride on his friends camels.  Along the way he told everyone that we were making an internet site for him.  We were getting famous.  Later on we loaded all the pictures onto the web site and finished most of it.  His daughter was fascinated with pinball on the computer.  After we picked up 3 girls from Hong Kong we went to the Bedouin camp for the night.  There Mohammed brought us to another camp where we had tea and talked with another group of people.  Later on, back in our camp, we watched them cook our dinner in a hole in the ground.  It consisted of potatoes, onions, and chicken.  It tasted great and Kirk was very happy because he was able to eat as much as he could. We were treated by the Bedouins there like kings.  They always  brought us tea and spoke to us.  Later when the music started playing, Zedan ( Mohammed's Brother) asked Maren to Dance.  That was a killer.  Check out the pictures in our photo album from Wadi Rum.  After all the excitement was over, we showed the other Bedouins the pictures on the ASUS notebook.  They were all very happy and wanted to look all night. We were glad that the battery did not last all night.  This ASUS Notebook is coming in real handy.  We slept outside under the stars.  We had a wonderful two days in Wadi Rum with Mohammed. 

05.05.2001

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Today we took the bus to Aqaba to catch the ferry to Nuweiba, Egypt to head for Dahab.  We bought our tickets through an agent at the Jerusalem Office of the Arab Bridge Maritime company in Aqaba.  Do not buy your ticket there.  Maren went in to buy the tickets,  they somehow argued about the exchange rates and change.  In that time they somehow ripped her off for 5 JD (8 $).  Unfortunately  we could not prove it!  The customs checkpoint in Egypt was just ridicules.  We had to put the visa stamps on the passport ourselves.  The last bus to Dahab was already gone, but we were a group of more than 10 people so we took a service taxi.  They wanted 20  LE each,  but we all started walking away, and we were able to bargain down to 10 LE.  So watch out, the custom agents are working with the taxi drivers. When we finally all got to Dahab,  we set out in groups to get the best deal for a hotel.  We finally decided on the Venus Camp.  "We" meaning,  Masami and Wes (Japan-USA), Ryan (Vancouver, Canada), Stephanie and Eric (Montreal, Canada), and of course Maren and Kirk. On the bus and during the search of hotels we met up with a really nice group of people,  who we later on went out to dinner with at Shark`s Restaurant.  We picked the right restaurant,  because it was cheap and served huge portions. We had a really nice evening. Kirk finally at night took a shower to get rid of all the sand which was still all over his body from the sand jumping the day before.   

06.05.2001

Today was a Dahab do nothing day.  We searched for a good diving school in the morning and again in the afternoon.  We are going to do an advanced diving course.  It will cost 150 dollars each.  Ryan,  a Canadian guy,  will join us. We were able to upload our site today along with other web pages. Tonight we ate dinner again with Wes, Masami, and Ryan at the Shark Restaurant. Tonight we are all going to climb Mt. Sinai and watch the sunrise.  Now we are going to close our eyes a bit.  

07.05.2001

We arrived at the foot of Mt. Sinai at around 1:00 am.  Kirk, Maren, and Ryan started climbing up at around 2:30 am.  The climb is normally a 2.5 hour climb,  but we went at a blistering pace and made it up in 1 hour and 35 minutes.  We were all exhausted.  It was also very cold up there and the wind was blowing hard.  After 30 minutes the rest of the group, which had started later,  made it up.  We waited for 2 hours for the sunrise.  Right when the sunrise was supposed to start,  the rain came.  So after little waiting around, we decided to walk down and visit the St. Katherine Monastery.  The Monastery opened at 9:00 am, so we all had breakfast while we were waiting. All in all it was a nice hike,  but it was probably not worth it to get up in the middle of the night for the sunrise.  It would have been a nice day hike.  Since we are not very religious,  the mountain is not very special or spectacular.  When we got back, the rest of the day we slept and hung around.  At night Kirk started to get sick again.  He was completely exhausted and had stomach problems.  He could not even finish his dinner.

08.05.2001

We were supposed to start our advanced diving course today,  but Kirk was not feeling better,  even worse, so we postponed the course till the next day.  So today we basically did nothing.  

09.05.2001

We were both excited because we were starting our advanced diving course in the Red Sea.  Kirk was feeling a little bit better,  but still not 100%.  We first had to do a check dive in the morning to freshen up on our diving skills.  Maren was really nervous in the beginning,  so the instructor did the check dive with her alone to make her feel comfortable again under water.  It worked.  The next dive was the deep dive,  where we went 32 meters down.  The dive was at the Canyon.  There one drops down into a hole to 32 meters and then swims out of the canyon through sort of a cave.  It was beautiful.  We had really a lot of fun,  even Maren.  The last dive was the Multi Level Dive at the famous Bells - Blue Hole.  It is famous because many divers have lost their lives there being irresponsible divers and testing their limits. One dives along a beautiful underwater cliff. We saw the most underwater life at the Canyon.  In the evening we again had dinner with the same group of people.  We were very happy to hang out with them.  They were all very nice and had the same interest as us.  Masami and Wes are a couple who were around our age and decided to give up their jobs and go travel for a long time (3 years).  They are also doing a web site of their trip.  We hope to stay in contact with them and also Ryan, Stephanie and Eric.  We had a great time with you guys.

10.05.2001

Today we did our navigation dive and naturalist dive.  On the navigation dive Kirk saw a turtle.  No one else did.  They did not believe him until another group of divers came up and said they had also seen a turtle.  It  was a little sad that Ryan and Eric did not dive with us today.  Ryan became ill and decided to put off the two dives until the next day.  In the evening we finished our advanced course with a night dive.  This was absolutely fantastic. Maren was very nervous,  but when she was in the water she was ok until she inhaled water through her nose 3/4 of the way through the dive.  She still earned her license anyway. She did great!  The dive master Gus and our instructor Patrick did a great job, especially Patrick who was always helpful and patient with Maren.  The dive shop was called Sea Dancer.  They offered some of the best deals and the service was really good.  We had checked out over 20 dive shops in Dahab,  with prices ranging from 150 to 240 US Dollars. Unless you picked the most expensive one,  there was was not a huge difference between the shops.  When you chose a shop,  make sure you choose an instructor with whom you feel comfortable and check the dive equipment. 

11.05.2001

This morning we had to say goodbye to everyone because we were going in different directions.  We were leaving to Cairo and they were all going to Luxor and Aswan.  It was kind of sad.  The bus took about 8 hours.  After we found our hotel we just walked around a little and ate dinner. 

12.05.2001

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In the morning we went to get information on how to get a boat to Saudi Arabia and Eritrea from Egypt and which Visas we will need. When we figure this one out this week,  we will write more on how to do it.  We then went to the Egyptian Student Travel Services for an International Student Card for Kirk.  It was easy.  All he had to do was to show his former University Card and for 13 $ and a picture they gave one to him on the spot. It is valid till the end of the year.  It saves about 50% on admission to all museums and sites in Egypt.  It will probably save around 150 $ in fees.  Later on we walked around Cairo a little and worked on our web page.   Hopefully we will be able to upload the site tonight.

13.05.2001

First we went to the American Embassy to get extra Visa pages for Kirk's passport.  His passport was almost full,  just by going through ca. 10 countries.  They love to leave their mark. The rest of the morning we set out to search for the Embassy of Eritrea.  But finally we were lucky and could leave our passports there to pick up the Visas the next afternoon.  Afterwards we went to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia for information on how to obtain a Transit Visa.  All they said is that we should come back the next day before 12:00 pm with our passports and a photo.  Later on we walked through the Islamic part of Cairo where Kirk got a hair cut and a shave at a typical barbershop. 

14.05.2001

This morning we went to the Egyptian Museum. It was a massive collection of Egyptian History.  One of the highlights was the Treasuries of Tutankhamun and the collection of mummies.  For the mummies one has to pay an additional 20 LE (student) each.  Afterwards we went again to the Saudi Arabian Embassy to try and make sure we new exactly what to bring with us the next day.  Again they told us that we needed only our passports and a picture.  We then picked up our Visas at the Eritrean Embassy, of course we had to sit around an hour. Even though we had to wait a long time,  the embassy staff was very friendly and helpful.  Afterwards we walked the long way back to the hotel.

15.05.2001

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We got up early in the morning to try to get our Transit Visa for Saudi Arabia.  In front of the embassy we met an Australian guy who wanted to do the same route to East Africa as we planned to do.  He gave us some advice and tips, especially on arriving and departure tickets and where he got them. We then went directly to a travel agent to get copies of reservations to and from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  Two hours later we were back at the embassy with all our papers.  We had a copy of our reservations,  that stated we had a boat ticket to Jeddah,  and a plane ticket to Eritrea from there. We thought that this would be enough.  Kirk had to go into the  embassy on his own,  because they did not allow women in with the men. Kirk was then brought to the front of the line by security.  He cut in front all the Egyptian men applying for Visas.  The first thing they asked was why we wanted to go this way to Eritrea, and why just don't fly.  He explained to him that this was the cheapest way to go.  The next question was "why were the documents just copies of the tickets." Kirk's reply,  "If we do not get the Transit Visa,  we would have to pay the full fare of our tickets." But he still rejected our application for a Visa.   Kirk still persisted and finally got the manager of the clerk to allow him to go to the next step,  which is to ask the Consul for approval.  After waiting around again for a while,  the man clerk came back  with a negative answer.  We were rejected.  It was really weird,  every staff member there was extra friendly to us and very polite.  They just don't give out Transit Visas easily.  They said that we needed a plane ticket in and out of Jeddah and that we would not be able to leave the airport. The other possibility was a boat ticket to and from Jeddah and Eritrea. But it is impossible to get a boat ticket for Jeddah - Massawa in whole Egypt. We are now going to search for another way.  We are going to try and get a hitch from Suez on a Cargo boat to Eritrea.  In the late afternoon we went to the Khan al-Khalili, Islamic Market.  We bought a pair of flip-flops for the shower. A German speaking Egyptian man,  tried to sucker us into buying Egyptian perfume oil.  They always start out trying to be your friend and then they try to sell you something or bring you to their friend's shop and disappear. We tried several oils until we could not smell anymore.  It is always hard to get out of the situation when you do not want to buy anything.  We just lied and said we would think about it and come back tomorrow.  We are finding that at least in Cairo that they are trying to scam and rip you off all the time.  It is a real pain in the rear! We are always asking ourselves if they really think that we are that stupid.  You can not trust anyone here. We bought a foot stone today.  It should help remove the cracked calices from our feet.  Both of our feet are really cracked and are hurting. 

16.05.2001

Today we went to the Ethiopian Embassy to get our Visas.  We filled out the visa form, left a photo and our passport and were told that we can pick up our visa tomorrow at around 1 pm.  It seemed much less complicated than getting one for Saudi Arabia.  Afterwards we took a local bus (no. 997 - 25 piaster each) to Giza,  to the Pyramids and the Sphinx.  Again some guy claiming he was a teacher,  try to scam us into taking a camel or horse trip around the Pyramids.  Of course he lied to us about the costs and rules about entering the site.  We just told him that we preferred walking today.  The admission price was reasonable for 10 LE each with a student card.  The Pyramids are huge, but we both had imagined something much more spectacular.  We first visited the Sphinx which was partly restored.  We then walked around the Pyramids,  always being spoken to if we would like to buy post cards, ride a horse or camel or take a taxi. Of course always for a special friends price just for us.  You can not concentrate on the sites with all this selling.  It is a shame.  We decided pay and enter the Great Pyramid, Cheops Pyramid.  That was the biggest tourist trap in whole of Egypt.  There was nothing at all to see in it.  Just walking up the stairs and coming back down again.  This all for double the admission price to the whole Pyramid Site.  We were really disappointed and cannot recommend anyone going in.  We then found the local bus (no. 924) back to central Cairo. 

17.05.2001

Today we did not do anything exciting.  We bought our train tickets to Aswan.  Only 1st class tickets were available according to the clerk.  Who knows,  my feeling was that they rather sell foreigners 1st class tickets.  It was still cheap.  We then went to mail a package to the States.  This one we could write a book over.  We had to fill out countless forms,  go to countless offices and people just to send a small package home.  It was unbelievable.  We had to do this while 90% of the postal workers were doing nothing.  It was a sight to see. Afterwards we rushed to the Ethiopian Embassy and picked up our expensive Visas.  We then got something to eat and found an internet cafe to upload our website.  We are right now on the train to Aswan arriving tomorrow morning.  Everything went well in Cairo,  except that we did not get our Saudi Arabian Visa. We will worry about that one later.

18.05.2001

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We arrived safely in Aswan.  The train ride was really nice.  We had a first class cabin to ourselves so we were able to sleep really well.  We then went searching for hotels.  We first went to one, when they would not bargain on the price,  we decided to look elsewhere.  Maren went out on her own and found a nicer place for less money.  She did great.  We then went searching for a good deal on a ride to Abu Simbel and a Felucca tour.  We finally decided to go with our hotel tour.  There was not too much of a difference in prices,  so we went with the one we felt more comfortable giving our money to.  In the afternoon we took the train to the Aswan High Dam.  There was not much to see.  We decided not to pay the 5 LE entrance fee to the soldiers guarding the dam.  It did not seem worth it.  We then waited for an hour for the next train back to Aswan.  Again we had Koshari  (noodles, rice, chickpeas, lentils, fried onions with tomato sauce and hot sauce) for dinner.  It is cheap and fills you up (2 LE each).  I think we ate it every night in Cairo for dinner.  Tomorrow we have to get up at 3:00 am to go to Abu Simbel.

19.05.2001

We got up at 3:00 am to catch a mini bus to Abu Simbel.  We checked out  the prices on this tour all over town the day before, we booked through our hotel, as the prices did not vary very much. Our breakfast from the hotel was a role and some jam.  Absolutely nothing to speak of.  The bus ride took about 3 hours and we had to go through many checkpoints. The road to Abu Simbel reopened one month ago, before it was only possible to get there by plane according to the hotel manager. There are two temples, the one which is more famous, the Great Temple of Abu Simbel with four colossal statues guarding the entrance, each more then 20 m tall and the smaller Harthor Temple. Both have wonderful and fascinating engravings inside. What is remarkable about the temples is, that they had to be removed in the 1960`s when the Aswan Dam was built out of the way from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. When you stand in front of them, you cannot imagine how they managed it so well. But it was definitely worth going there. We both liked it very much. After two hours we took the bus back to Aswan. We were booked on a one day/one night Felucca tour on the the Nile. That was our worse experience so far, but more details later. In the beginning it seemed to be a lot of fun. A thing that bothered us was that we had thought we were going with one captain and we ended up with another.  So we should have known that this was not going to be the best time of lives.  We were together with four Korean people, three of them we met already in Nuweiba and took the same taxi to Dahab. The other one was a nice girl named HJ. The Nile was very quiet, not much traffic. The view from the felucca was beautiful, palm trees on every side of the Nile, children bathing. Lunch was ready by the time we got on the boat, just some bread, falafel and tomato cucumber salad. Kirk warned not to eat so much of the salad.  On the felucca you can not do much,  we played some backgammon, read, and talked with the others on board.  One of the skippers was smoking pot the whole day.  For dinner we had some noodles,  potatoes with tomatoes.  It was basic and did not taste great.  We thought we were going to get a really good meal since we had paid 15 LE each for the meals on board.  You can eat like a king for 15 LE in Egypt as long as you do not go to Mc Donalds.  So we felt a little ripped off from them.  In the evening as we were coming a shore the captain accidentally (was not watching out)  rammed another boat docked at the shore.  It seemed the captain was not the most experienced. He did not always seem to know what he was doing.  He gave no extra info or explanations about anything.  He barely could speak English.  The other skipper on board,  had already jumped  ship before sun break which was also really weird.  The main thing that bothered us,  was that they were washing the dishes in the Nile.  We both thought it was disgusting.  Maren asked what he is doing,  and he showed her a can of tap water he said he was using. In the evening we had a beautiful view of the stars.  We eventually went to sleep on the deck of the ship. 

20.05.2001

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Early in the morning we got up and almost reached Kom Ombo, where our trip ended. We were just glad we did  not book a two day tour. The Korean guys were counting their money and noticed that some was missing, a total of over 230 US $. What was weird that the captain was awake quite a lot during the night and doing things. Both of us heard him several times walking around. It is pity that you cannot proof anything. When we left the boat we had to pay the rest of the money. First the captain asked for 10 LE more as we had to pay but then he asked for baksheesh which we did not give him. To be honest, we were disappointed by the tour, the captain did nothing the whole day and the food was more than bad. After bargaining with several taxi drivers,  we finally got one for a reasonable price to take us to the bus station about 6 kilometers away.  We got the 8:00 am bus to Luxor. The bus ride took about three hours. Kirk started to feel bad, he said he had the chills. Maren was still feeling ok. Arriving in Luxor we were looking for the Neferteti Hotel which was recommended. After hard bargaining we stayed. Later on we walked around Luxor, went to the Tourist Office to get some information about what to see and how to get there. Kirk felt worse with every step he took, so we decided to go back to the hotel and have a rest. On the way back we passed the Luxor Temple. You could almost see as much from the street as from inside, so we saved the entrance fee and just took some pictures from outside. On the way we split up and Kirk went back to the Hotel. The only problem, he sort was in half a daze and went in the wrong direction.  So they both got back about at the same time.  In the hotel, we measured Kirks temperature, which was over 39 Celsius. Maren bought  medicine against his fever. Both suffered from diarrhea during the afternoon and in the evening Maren came down with fever as well. We felt so very bad, we could not really move, and every little effort was to much. We damned the felucca tour. During the night we got up every half an hour to go to the toilet. The fever did not go down. 

21.05.2001

In the morning we did not feel better at all. We both wanted to die. We changed our room into one with A/C and our own bathroom. It costs twice as much but it was  much more comfortable in our situation as we stayed the rest of the day in bed.

22.05.2001

The fever was gone but we still did not feel ok, a little dizzy. In the afternoon we had to get up and do something. We were trying to find an Internet Cafe where we could hook up our laptop, but that was not possible anywhere. 

23.05.2001

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Today we were booked on a tour to The Valley of the Queens and The Valley of the Kings. It was an organized bus tour including a tour guide. Kirk felt much better today, but Maren was still weak and did not stand the heat. We saw different tombs in both Valleys. There was nothing much inside, except the colorful engravings. The tombs look all very similar, so it is not necessary to see all the 33 tombs founded in the Valley of the Kings. But it was good to get some information from the guide as we did not know much about Egyptian history. Included in the tour was a visit to the Temple of  Hatshepsut,  before we took the boat back to Luxor. In the afternoon we waited in the hotel until the departure of our train to Cairo. But we decided a couple hours before our train would leave to make a quick visit to the Karnak Temple, as it is not far away from Luxor Center. The temple complex was huge and we were really impressed by its size. We left Luxor at 8:50 pm heading on a overnight train to Cairo.

24.05.2001

We arrived in Cairo around 07:00 am at the railway station. We took the Metro into the city center and waited for an Internet Cafe to open because Kirk had some important things to do. It took longer than expected, we decided to stay the night in Cairo.  Kirk was in a little stress because with some of his other web sites something was terribly wrong. Also we did not feel very well and were not in the right mood to travel any further. So we went to Pizza Hut to get some western food.  At the moment our stomachs are not allowing anything else in.  In  the afternoon we slept. Later Kirk worked into the night on his web pages.

25.05.2001

We had actually planned today to go to Suez,  but we decided against it. Since it was Friday and not much would be happening there anyway, we thought it would be better to stay in Cairo.  We were also still not feeling well and decided it would be better to rest up a little and not have a stressful day. In the morning we worked on our web site and walked a little around Cairo.  Later we went to the Movies.  We saw 15 minutes.  It was just ok. Tonight we are planning to update our web site and get some western food in our stomachs, because we have not really eaten much all day,  except for a little bread and a piece of chocolate cake. 

26.05.2001

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Today Kirk finished his computer work.  In the early afternoon we took a bus to Suez.  There we found a hotel and checked out the port area afterwards so we would know where to look for ships tomorrow.  Suez is actually not as we expected.  Some parts were actually nice, especially the boardwalk.  At night we could barely sleep because it was so hot.  

27.05.2001

This morning we went to the Saudi Consulate to try and get a Transit Visa.  Of course they said we had to go back to Cairo and get a Visa there.  He said it would not be a problem with a letter of recommendation. Of course he knows you have no chance at all.  They should just say it right to your face that they do not want any tourists in their country.  So we tried several shipping agencies,  but they told us that we had no chance in getting a ship down.  So we decided our best bet at this moment would be to try and get a Visa for Sudan.  We took the bus back Cairo in hopes of getting a Visa.  So cross your fingers and wish us luck!  

28.05.2001

We went first this morning to the Embassy of Sudan. They handed us out a form which we had to fill out and told us we need a letter of recommendation from our embassy. Kirk told them, that the US Embassy does not issue letters of recommendation, but they still insisted. Maren took a taxi to the German Embassy to get her letter and Kirk went to the US Embassy. There he got information about the actual situation in Sudan. After meeting again, we both decided not to try to get a Sudanese Visa as Sudan is too dangerous, especially the southern part. We checked out several travel agencies for prices to fly to Asmara, Eritrea which is the cheapest country to fly to in Africa.  We also already have our visa for Eritrea. There is one Egypt Air flight a week, but the next flight is already fully booked. So we decided to book through Egypt Air itself in the hope they have influence on the waiting list. We will see.

29.05.2001

We have almost seen everything Cairo except the Citadel. So that was our plan for the day. Because we had so much time we of course walked, ignoring all the taxis honking and yelling at us. It was a nice walk and we had a good view all over Cairo. We visited the Mosque of Mohammed Ali, which was very impressive and the Military Museum. On our way back to the city center we called the Egypt Air office to see if our flights were  confirmed to Eritrea. They were , so we picked up our tickets immediately. In the afternoon we had a little rest in our hotel room to escape from the heat.  In the evening Kirk did a little work on the Internet.

30.05.2001

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Today is another lazy day. Kirk worked all day long on the computer and Maren was reading and sleeping. Kirk had to update his Websites so he would continue to make money to support this trip. We cannot wait until we leave Egypt tomorrow night, we have spent enough time in this country.    In the evening we went again to the internet cafe' to upload the updates to the websites.  We are lucky here that the connection is really fast and everything gets uploaded really quick.  
31.05.2001 Today we wrote our last emails and packed our stuff.  We are flying down to Eritrea tonight.  During the day we thought it would be good to get some vitamins,  so we went to Pizza Hut and had a huge salad which we could barely finish.  Later on we went to the Internet Cafe' again where Kirk uploaded most of our pictures to a server in the Internet so they would be  backed up.  He also worked on his websites and placed them in the search engines.   Afterwards we picked up our backpacks at our hotel and took the subway to the bus station and from there a bus to the Airport.  The bus was really cheap,  3 LE each,  much cheaper than a Taxi which would have cost around 30 LE.  At the airport we had hoped to exchange the rest of our Egyptian Pounds back into Dollars,  but none of the banks would do it.  We could exchange into other currencies,  but not US $.  So we will send the rest back to Germany,  where we will be able to deposit it in our bank account.  The flight was ok to Asmara. The meal was actually really good.  The only problem was that it flew at an inhumane time,  1:00 am.  

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