Trip Start Apr 09, 2008
138Trip End Aug 30, 2008
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Where I stayed
I can't believe we made it, Cape to Cairo, accident-free and illness-free! Well, that is if you don't count the Tanzanian speeding ticket, several Foxy mishaps, and the hundreds of flea bites.
This time tomorrow we will be sitting on a plane, taking off from Cairo International airport, bound for Milan where we will then pick up our hire car and drive the 800+kms to the Thornington chalet at the foothills of the Pyrenees in southern France.
Once there, we will spend one week with the intention of doing absolutely nothing except sit on the balcony sipping chilled Blanquette de Limoux and nibbling delectable cheeses and chocolate pastries, visit local family friends in Courtauly village, and if we can summon the energy, go on the occasional hike in the mountains
As much as I'm looking forward to all of that, I am going to miss what has become 'normal life' on the road.
More specifically, I'm going to miss swapping tips and information with other (overland) travelers. The whole journey has been like one big choose-your-own-adventure where you have to solve certain puzzles, revealed to you by the people you meet and the places you visit, before moving on to the next stage. Being so accustomed now to constantly be on the look out for a place, person, object, street, or building, I will miss that feeling of being on a quest.
I will also miss the daily routine of getting up with the sun, setting a route plan, driving it, and then laying our heads down in a new town for another night's sleep, listening to the neighbourhood dogs perform their nightly arias.
Every day has been so different, so colourful, and so emotionally intense in all possible forms.
Matt said that he hadn't realized how hard the last leg of the trip, north of Kenya, was going to be. Perhaps doing it from North to South would have been easier, doing the 'hard bit' first. Still, after a lot of thought and consideration, we agree that the route we chose within the given time frame, the sights we saw and those we had to painfully decide to forego, we wouldn't have changed anything if we had to do it again.
The past few days we have been wondering what kind of re-culture shock we will experience when we get to Europe and North America.
Will we go absolutely crazy at seeing all the flashy fast food outlets with their drive-thru windows, the manicured lawns and white picket fences, the obedient pedestrians stopping at every red light, the absence of car horns, rooster crows, and donkey brays?
Will we relish the fact that we can walk down the street at any time of day and blend in with the crowd?
Will we miss getting that 'special attention', both the good and bad kind, where one minute we are pushed to the front of the queue at the customs counter because we are foreigners, and the next minute we are made to pay outrageous baksheesh to taxi drivers because we are foreigners?
I don't know, but we're about to find out.
Start: Hotel Longchamps, Cairo, EGYPT.
End: Hotel Longchamps, Cairo, EGYPT.
Distance Traveled: 0km
Road Conditions: -
Temperature: sticky humid