Meeting With Roger Pearce in Luxor

Hurghada is a manufactured sunshine resort with little to recommend it, however we did give the cars their first complete service having completed over 4,000 miles. Fresh engine oil, topped up gearboxes, rear diffs and carburettor dampers. Chris found that one of Dorothy’s exhaust brackets was broken for which he found a man who welded it together and I replaced Bridget’s distributor points and adjusted the timing a fraction.

The following day we drove to Luxor and it was quickly evident that Bridget still needed further timing adjustment as her engine was pinking voraciously, otherwise everything appeared to be operating well. The drive across the Egyptian Desert was most enjoyable with the craggy desert mountains, followed by the lush green of the vegetation and the beautiful orange, red, white and purple hibiscus, at the roadside, as we arrived in the Nile Valley.

We checked into the Sonesta St George Hotel which had secure parking, an important feature as the cars would be easily damaged in these parts by enthusiastic fans. The following morning Chris went off to explore the West Bank of the Nile and I firstly adjusted Bridget’s timing and then visited Karnak Temple. I had already seen most of the sites in the Luxor area some five years ago but some of them justify repeat visits.

That afternoon fellow endurance tourer Roger Pearce, in a MG Magnet, arrived from Cape Town, heading up several classic Mercedes, a MGB and a Volvo 122. They had left on the 6th September and were heading for Cairo. Once they had blown the dust off Roger, Chris and myself, visited Murphy’s pub just down the road for a medicinal glass. Roger was able to give us a few tips on where to stay, some useful contacts, but most importantly the low-down on the condition of the road between Moyale and Archers Post in Kenya. This is an infamous stretch of road that can be a car breaker. From what we gather from Roger it was at its worst when they came through. They met a group of BMW motorcyclists that were giving up and returning from whence they came, and the suspension of Rogers care was rammed up into the rear passenger area by rocks. All of the cars suffered damage to some extent and Roger admitted he wasn’t sure they would make it.

We set off from Luxor the next morning to drive down the Nile Valley road to Aswan where we expected to get the ferry into Sudan the next day. Disaster, the ferry left on the day we arrived and we were told the next one would be in precisely 1 week! We arranged a meeting with Kammal, a ferry Mr Fixit.

Kammal has turned out to be a very helpful guy who knows all the ropes and pitfalls of leaving Egypt aboard the Aswan ferry and entering Sudan. He will smooth most of the bureaucracy for us and we will just need to put in personal appearances here and there. There were no cabins available so we will be on the deck for the 16 hour crossing of Lake Nasser, but in addition we need to board the boat at 10:00am even though we will not leave until around 5:00pm. A total of 23/4 hours without using a toilet if possible!

The cars will be loaded on Saturday prior to our departure.

This will be our last bulletin until we arrive in Khartoum, around next Wednesday, as long as we can get an internet connection there. We will continue to Tweet using my mobile as things happen, until then we apologise for the disruption in service. Meanwhile there are loads of photos to catch up with, so enjoy.

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