Tuesday, November 6, 2012

4: Assiut and halfway through Egypt

Large villages under the Eastern Hills just south of Al Minya 

Coming along the more rural roads through the midday heat 

Egytian kids along the Nile 
Well we have arrived in Assiut which is more or less half way through Egypt. Arrival here from Al Minya was some what fraught and ended in quite a fiasco. We set off and almost immidiatly went wrong. The plan was to cross the Nile and continue along the East bank this time rather than the West. But the roundabout which headed over the river was a little chaotic and I shot down the wrong side into the on coming duel carriageway' Irish Dan however continued straight down the West bank for around 25km while we waited around the bridge. after some time Alan and I headed back to base along the road to wait, Dan came in the back of a police wagon looking sheepish. This took around 3 hours out the day which in the end gave us an issue at the other end. Off we went again and settled into nice rural areas along the underneath of the Eastern hills winding through villages and farms. It wasn't until mid afternoon when we where pulled over by the police again although we spent most of the day independent we where flagged down. After a little more cycling it became clear that we had become cornered and they where very insistent we jumped on the wagons to Assuit a few kilometres down the road which we did and arrived after dark due to some vehicle faff as they change vehicles every km or so. Also a road accident occurred which as we where with the police they needed to deal with. The main road problems here are at night its not safe to drive let alone cycle. I dont profess to be a road safety expert but I would recommend given there is no street lights out of the town and there are many cars on the road that lights on cars would reduce accidents, even the police car had no rear lights. The chap who we came across seemed that he had leg injuries but would survive although judging by the amount of glass on the road there must have been some smash up.His motorcycle trailer thing looked bashed and was dragged clear of the oncoming traffic which would swerve violently to avoid smashing into the smash up.
We arrived in Assiut and are sorting the bikes for onward travel though to Suhag next and in around three days we should arrive at Luxor and the valley of the kings.

Family working in the irrigated fields of the Nile Valley 
Dan a little cramped in the back of the busy's van speed humps where sore !