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Old 08-27-2008, 08:49 AM   #76
aurel
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Originally Posted by mrg46
I did arrange it before but then they changed their minds (as per the Libya post). Am so glad I got in though - great place.
Too bad you had to paid for the guide but at least you crossed it

Keep the pics coming
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:19 AM   #77
MotoPhotog
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I dont post much. But I hope you can keep the story goin! No more teasing! Post Post Post!
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:47 AM   #78
Shakeyhands
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well... I'm jealous.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:51 PM   #79
the venturer
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keep more pics coming..........
What happened to that video clip link?Can't see any!
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:28 PM   #80
Mark950
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Hi fellow South African, enjoying the RR, keep it coming

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Old 08-28-2008, 08:47 AM   #81
Tappet OP
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Egypt

AFRICAN ENDURO - Egypt

Hallo-wherefrom-mister-hey-whatyourname

That's a typical Egyptian greeting, which is closely followed by a rapid fire of insistence to buy any thing or service you could imagine not requiring. Ironically I was actually in need of an entrepreneurial Egyptian at this border-post of Salloum in the North West of the country.

Egypt is famed for having one of the more complex land border entry procedures on the planet, and this border specifically as the worst in Egypt. I had researched exactly what I needed to do but fell down at the first hurdle and started throwing abuse at the officials. It was time to calm down and pay someone to do the shouting. End-to-end it took me 4.5 hours to get in, and this a brief summary of what I needed to do:
  • Validate pre-arranged visa, have passport forensically examined for a forged photo and then have it stamped for entry. Now the bike;
  • First cursory glance at the bike's carnet de passage (basically a vehicle passport which ensures you don't sell it in the country)
  • Have exhaust emissions checked
  • Have chassis number traced onto a piece of paper
  • Buy compulsory 3rd party insurance
  • Have carnet validated & stamped
  • Get 'mini' carnet & temporary Egyptian drivers license printed
  • Rent & attach Egyptian number plate
  • Final check of passport & all paperwork collected thus far
Each of the above steps took place in a different building and resulted in me receiving some sort of document or paperwork which I then needed to make a photocopy of (somewhere else) which got retained by guy in the next step of the process. What a pain the arse. After having several hundred Egyptian pounds liberated from my wallet I left the border with some high RPM's and some loud cracks of the Akra.

I was making for a town on the North coast called Marsa Matruh but was caught short of daylight hours and broke one of my rules of the trip - riding at night, in Africa. There weren't many villages and thus livestock on this highway so I thought I'd go for it. I wanted to push for this town because it was where my Grandfather had fought in World War II (all the way from South Africa). The only unpleasantness on the road was the odd vehicle driving towards me in the wrong lane. It turns out that they do this when travelling short distances instead of going in the opposite direction to use an over/under pass in the correct lane. Another revelation was that these Egyptians were driving without their lights on, at night. This, I would be told was so that when they saw a vehicle approaching they would hit the high beam so that you can see them. Genius.

After this stopover I made a run for the capital, Cairo. I must explain that I wasn't purposely rushing Egypt, as I had spent 6 weeks here as a juvenile backpacker some years back. I knew Cairo traffic would be hectic but nothing could prepared me. For the first time on my trip the KTM was getting a bit hot under the collar. The outside temp wasn't excessively hot (low 30's C / 90's F) but the traffic was so slow moving that there wasn't enough air moving through the radiator. couple of times I had no option but to stop and wait (with the electric fan running) and this seemed to work. I had found a cheap hotel downtown and for the first time on my trip tried to use my GPS' mapping facility - which was not much use with the maps I had loaded.


Token pyramid shot. They didn't charm me as much as my first visit when I was able to climb to the top, so I settled for a crap photo.


A couple of guys on a Jawa with sidecar. Very popular bikes in Egypt but have a tendency toward spontaneous combustion.

Other than to arrange a visa for Sudan my time in Cairo was spent with my first big service on the bike (5000k service). Although I had all the tools & parts with me I decided to take it to a mechanic as the alternative was to do the service in the street outside my hotel. This mechanic was a guy who all the overlanders use, Mohammed Anwar. Although his facilities (and English) are modest he is known as the best bike mechanic in all of North Africa, and specialises in DS bikes. Together we spent a whole day doing the service. I was armed with my print-outs of the LC4 servicing thread index and most of the instructions were aligned with Mo's way of doing things. Major items were:
  • New plug, oil & filters
  • Cleaned air filter
  • Checked valve clearances (they were spot on)
  • Checked brake pads
  • Replaced both stock sprockets with steel ones
  • New X-ring gold chain
  • Changed Metzeler Enduro's to TKC 80's

Mo getting his hands dirty.


He is an incredibly gifted mechanic.


Dinner with the boys. Afterwards Mo' serviced the front shocks of a CBR600 in the time it took me to pack up.

So the report after 6000k's was that the bike was in perfect shape, and I had 100% confidence in it for the more challenging roads leading Southwards. My health however was questionable and a few times I was to be caught short of a latrine facility with the first strike of the unavoidable gippo guts. I like to call it the 'Cairo Quickstep' and have a new appreciation for the robes that these chaps wear. I can't think of anything more practical for performing a dark alley squat in.

Once I had my bearings I enjoyed riding around Cairo with no luggage, however it took a while to get used to the Egyptian use of a car horn. They use it constantly, a driving control as fundamental as the accelerator or brakes. Here is a clip of me negotiating some Cairo traffic. It's a bit drawn out & excuse the quality - I fastened the camera to my helmet with insulation tape. (Oh and I'm not being reckless, moving at the same speed or slower than this traffic is dangerous)





After the Cairo stoppover I hit the road again, first traveling East towards Suez and the Red Sea and then South along the coast. Shortly after leaving Cairo I ran dry of fuel for the first time on my trip. It was my fault. Despite there being plenty of gas stations some looked more questionable than others and I had become fussy. I pushed the bike for about one km and then freewheeled another one to a conveniently close gas station. During this day I was aiming to get as far down Egypt as possible - as I said I'd seen every corner of the country before. In much of Egypt South of Cairo tourists can only move around in Military convoys, but I was able to avoid these with the 'next town' gag. (I'm just going to the next town down the road). These convoys are absurd - there is no threat in Egypt these days. I regrettably had my first flare of road rage on the trip. I was on a tiny road on the banks of the Nile and an oncoming taxi pulled out to overtake and to kill me. He could clearly see me but that didn't stop him. I had river on one side of the road and a steep drop on the other and don't know how I squeezed passed. I swung around and chased him. He was apologising profusely through his window but didn't want to stop so I gave his car door a nice alpinestar tattoo and gave up. I felt my rage was justified; I had come very close to death. After almost 900k's in the saddle I stopped-over in a town called Luxor for a welcome few beers after a long day.


A rider i saw on the banks of the Nile, transporting some feed for his other steed.

The next day I woke up at crack of dawn (I think that was her name) and hit the road further South. I only needed to do 100k's but needed to get there before midday to arrange my paperwork for the ferry that runs into the Sudan along lake Nasser. I was about 20k's away when I got stopped at a military checkpoint where a particularly difficult guy wouldn't let me through. He insisted that I go back to Luxor & wait for a convoy. I tried every angle but he wouldn't budge, and when I tried the aggression his AK47'd comrades flinched. Bugger! They wouldn't let me wait there for a convoy either, so I went back to Luxor where I had to wait for one. In the end I arrived at my destination of Aswan 10 minutes after the government offices closed. I had missed the ferry. Next sailing was in 10 days. My anger was off the scale. Later that day while riding around looking for a place to stay a guy in a pickup rode into the back of me at a slow moving traffic circle. Thankfully I wasn't on the brakes and the clutch was in so I just rolled forward instead of falling. I got out and throttled the driver - something I regretted within seconds and stopped myself from further action. I imbibed much Egyptian lager that evening and made sure the surge of recent road rage was no more and good karma was restored.

While I was in Aswan I started noting a clicking or ticking noise coming from the engine at very low or very high revs. It was disturbing. I didn't know what the 'pinking' low octane noise sounded like and started getting paranoid about the valves, so through a guy I had met arranged a place to do an inspection service. This 'place' was in fact his cousins lounge - nice! This was to be my first solo attempt at a valve clearance check - and armed with Creepers advice I set forth. I enjoyed doing it and took a very long time to make sure I wasn't cocking anything else up. The clearances were fine and it was in fact just low-octane pinking. Time to engage the low-octane CDI switch that the 640 Adv comes with.


Sharaf and the entrance to his house / KTM servicing lounge.


Valve inspection in the lounge.


I also used Creepers guide to finding TDC, only I didn't have a straw to put on the piston to watch it rise & fall - my little SA flag did the job. Nice.

One day while I was in Aswan I got back to my bike and saw some chancer had stuck a couple of cards on it. Closer inspection revealed a World Rider business card and sticker. I had read some of this guys thread and knew who he was - what a small world. I got in touch and we met up for a few beers and some food to swap stories & contacts. Unfortunately we were going in opposite directions so couldn't ride together.


I took the time I had to do a bit of practice in the soft stuff.


It was like riding a 250 when the luggage was removed.


A local butcher shop. If you don't get in quick all you're left with is a hoof, or a ring piece.


A knife sharpener in the market. Egypt is expected to advance beyond this use of a wheel very soon.

After an extended riding break and much time to reflect and lubricate my system in the hot weather it was time for the next ferry sailing to The Sudan. This ferry travels the length of Lake Nasser, which is a dammed-up section of the Nile and is the only means of getting between these two countries. The ferry is only for foot passengers and any cargo (my bike) is loaded onto a separate barge which hopefully also arrives at the same destination.


Loading the KTM onto the barge. I met two couples in these vehicles also heading Southwards.


There were no sides on the barge, so my tie-downs were tight.


No space was left unloaded on the barge.

I was very excited about The Sudan. In just a 30 hour ferry ride I would be plunged from a relatively westernised town into the most desolate and uncivilised environment imaginable. Git R Done!

Mark
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:59 AM   #82
ramz
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The ferry is only for foot passengers and any cargo (my bike) is loaded onto a separate barge which hopefully also arrives at the same destination.
This doesn't sound like it's going to end well
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:35 AM   #83
Mark950
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Really enjoyed that ride around Ciaro, I commute every day so it just make me smile when I see places worse than central Cape Town.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:27 PM   #84
Moraflex
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Quote:
I was on a tiny road on the banks of the Nile and an oncoming taxi pulled out to overtake and to kill me. He could clearly see me but that didn't stop him. I had river on one side of the road and a steep drop on the other and don't know how I squeezed passed. I swung around and chased him. He was apologising profusely through his window but didn't want to stop so I gave his car door a nice alpinestar tattoo and gave up.
I've run into this same sort of thing when I was roadie (12 speed road bicycle) on the streets of my home town. They would see you, eye to eye, yet when you came near to them they would stomp on the gas and try to run you down.

I've come to the conclusion it's the "You have what I have not, therefore you must be denied the pleasure of what I have not. And, to achieve this, I will try to kill you"... mentality.

Keep it coming.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:12 PM   #85
aurel
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:32 PM   #86
dziner
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Laugh

Made some popcorn if anyone wants some.

**Sitting down for the rest of the show.**
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:06 PM   #87
bush-pig
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Wicked Bakgat !!

Not to jump the gun here, but how long did the trip take you in total?

Been thinking of doing the same trip for quite some time now.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #88
dave6253
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Eek



That Cairo traffic video was scary . I sat in awe the entire 6 1/2 minutes. You are a brave man to ride through such insanity!
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:25 PM   #89
Watercat
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Sudan

I have a feeling this ride is going to become exponetially more adventurous ! ! !

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Old 08-28-2008, 10:18 PM   #90
maccajim
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nice so far

Did u get some aussie andy strapsz panniers i have the same bike and setup works a treat keep posting
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