Trip Start Sep 04, 2008
61Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Cisco went on to Israel, while I made my way out west to Siwa. I've always wanted to see an oasis, and this one didn't disappoint. After the eight hour bus ride from Alex, the approach is barren desert, then all of a sudden, acres and acres of palm trees. Siwa is pretty off the tourist path, and I count about twenty others in town. It's a great spot to relax, and unlike Aswan and Luxor, no people hassling me. Although, I've kinda become accustomed to the hassle. It's fun to see reactions and get a laugh when I ask how much a taxi to Johannesburg would cost (running price: $1,500,000), or pretend that the price for a horse drawn carriage includes ownership as well. When asked if I want hash, I respond it would cause problems with the police. "No," they say, "it's only a problem for Egyptians." I always notice that they're Egyptian, but don't think bringing that up would get me anywhere.
Hung out parts of both days at Cleopatra's Pool, a spring a little outside town. Had a smoothie at the bar (no alcohol in Siwa), and watched some local kids flip over and over into the spring. Unfortunately, as there are few independent travelers here currently, though there appears to be a few package tours coming through, I was unable to get a Jeep into the Sand Sea. I managed to negotiate a price for just myself and a driver, which was around 25% of what most people pay, but decided it wouldn't be quite as good by myself.
I'm taking the overnight bus again back to Alex, then on to Cairo and over to Taba. From there, up to Tel Aviv where I'll meet back up with Cisco and Amir.