Three countries in one day
Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
273Trip End Oct 08, 2008
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6:35am: First alarm goes off.
6:45am: Second alarm goes off.
6:49am: Travis gets Erin out of bed.
6:51am: Erin goes to take a shower and finds the water doesn't work.
7:00am: Travis finishes packing.
7:15am: Erin finishes packing while Travis stares at Erin with mild exasperation.
7:20am: We hail a taxi on the street. Erin tells him to go to the Israeli border.
7:22am: Taxi driver asks if we are going to Eilat, Israel. Erin makes the mistake of telling him we're going to Egypt.
7:25am: Travis corrects the taxi driver, who has turned around and is heading towards the Egypt ferry terminal.
7:40am: We pass through a checkpoint.
7:45am: We enter the border post.
7:50am: We pass through the metal detector. Erin's bag is taken apart because of the package in her front pocket. The guard looks through every book and piece of paper in the package. She also looks at the postcards from the Egyptian museum.
8:00am: After spending 10 minute trying to fit the package in the front pocket, the zipper breaks. Erin is not very happy.
8:10am: We are stamped into Israel and exchange our remaining Jordinian dinar to Israeli sheqels. We have 143 sheqels left. We need at least 111 sheqels as exit tax for Israel.
8:15am: Since we don't have enough money to afford the $15 taxi we walk the 3-4 kilometers to central Eilat. It's hot.
9:00am: We arrive at the Central Bus Station. We apparently just missed the 9am bus.
9:30am: We buy a 15 sheqel tuna sandwich for breakfast and relocate to another bus stop.
10:03am: We jump on the bus to the Taba border and pay the 13 sheqels for the bus.
10:40am: We arrive at the Taba border between Israel and Egypt.
10:45am: We are stamped out of Israel. We pay the border tax with 10 sheqels to spare. Travis is very impressed with his amazing planning skills.
10:49am: We pay $3 (our last sheqels) for a small bottle of Coke. But it was duty free.
10:50am: We go through the metal detector of the Egyptian side. It is ramped up even beyond the Israelis. I have to take my bag apart to produce a tiny umbrella. They tell me that isn't the problem. Then he tears my bag apart to produce the tiny metal poles in the mosquito net I had forgotten I had. I have gone through maybe 50 metal detectors and this has never been a problem.
11:10am: We are stamped into Egypt.
11:20am: We arrive at the empty bus station. According to our book, there is a bus to Cairo at 12:30 and 4:30, and a bus to Dahab at 3. We need to catch at least one of these buses.
11:30am: The ticket guys tells us that the 12:30 bus to Cairo is broken. The 4:30 bus is a maybe.
12:30pm: The ticket guy tells us the 4:30 bus is running and sells us a ticket. This is a bad time because it would put us in Cairo at midnight. Travis buys the ticket.
1:00pm: A minibus arrives with a group of Israelis going to Cairo. The guy offers to take us to Cairo for $20 a person (the bus is $15). We argue it down to $17 and he makes us promise to not tell the other passengers our ridiculous deal. One of the other passengers mentions that they are paying the same low price.
1:10pm: We try to cancel the ticket we have bought and the guy tells us it will cost $5.
1:15pm: The minibus leaves without us. Travis mentally kicks himself for buying the ticket so early.
3:00pm: The ticket guy tells the two others waiting with us that the bus to Dahab is broken.
4:35pm: The bus to Cairo finally arrives.
4:55pm: The bus to Cairo finally leaves.
5:00pm: The bus stops 20 feet down the road, where tax collectors come on board to inform the white people that we need to pay $10 each border tax. Why this didn't happen at the border instead of wasting people's time is difficult to determine.
5:10pm: We actually leave.
5:15pm: We stop at another checkpoint.
7:00pm: We stop for dinner
9:00pm: We cross under the Suez Canal
10:30pm: We stop near the Cairo Airport.
11:00pm: We stop at a bus station (we aren't sure which one).
11:05pm: A guy talks us into paying too much for a taxi.
11:25pm: The guy indicates we should get out of his taxi. We tell him we're not where we're supposed to be.
11:35pm: We arrive in the place we wanted to go and get out.
11:45pm: We check into our hotel.
This is the first time we have been in three countries in one day. The funny thing is it cost us half the price of crossing on the ferry from Jordan to Egypt ($70 a ticket). And, from the stories we have heard, saved us some time as well (as hard as it may be to believe).
Don't worry, not every day is this busy. The day before Erin took several naps and watched television.