24.12.2011 - 24.12.2011 22 °C
Woke up after a cold night in the tent to a beautiful sunrise and a very quiet morning. We ate a breakfast and then packed the car up and basically took off....after we had our car jump started by one of Ahkmed's mates who camped nearby.
Ahkmed took off like he needed to be back in town in 45 seconds, but when we hit the road, it was in very poor condition and Ahkmed slowed to a suitable speed. This was a good thing. Unfortunately, as soon as the road improved, Ahkmed Schumaker-Brabham-Alonso III also returned and in no time we were traveling well in excess of 125kph. Before the roof could cave in we asked him to slow down, and he did. Like most drivers here, it is very interesting to see them go over speed humps. Given that they drive like there is no tomorrow, you would expect them to hit speed humps, Evil Knieval style. They actually slow down to such an extent that they'd be overtaken by a snail with a bad hip.
We got back to Bahariya in about 2 hours but alive. Bought a few souvenirs and then headed back to Cairo, some 350 Kms away. When we got to the outskirts of Cairo we stopped at a KFC. What excitement! We bought two large popcorn chickens, one hind leg, a foreleg and a paw, and two large chips for $11 AUD!!!
Back at the hotel we had a few welcome showers after all of us hit the gym. I met a guy there who shared dinner that night. He was Irish and was missing the Christmas feeling and we all had a good night together. He is a CNN bodyguard who has been filming the Tahir Square situation. He had many good stories, including being in Libya for the revolution and chasing Gudaffi down gutters. A strange story at Tahir Square a week or so back was where the camera man couldn't handle it anymore when the tear gas came out, so he took the camera. He had a gas mask but the tear gas was really heavy. As he looked behind him he saw a guy selling popcorn at this stall, wearing a mask you might sand a wall with and a pair of swimming goggles.....talk about poor working conditions!
We set up our 30cm Christmas tree, downloaded about 300 photos from the desert and then hit the sack. What a strange Christmas it will be for all of us.