Monday, November 12, 2012

Difficult choices on troubles ahead

Egyptian in Luxor temple 
Well its been a tricky day or two of research while resting in Luxor into the journey south of Egypt and what should be done. A difficult decision has been reached that Dan and I shall fly over to Nairobi. The are several reasons for this which I shall explain here. There have been for a long time been troubles in Sudan but in the recent weeks this has escalated a little with bombings near Khartoum from a foreign source and also their internal problems with South Sudan only in the last few days a jet was shot down by rebels near the area that we would peddle through. The FCO have also now red flagged the Blue Niles states which we would need to pass through in order to get to Ethiopia, of which the FCO have placed a red flag right around the countries borders. Perhaps the most worrying trouble is the escalating tribal fighting and banditry in Northern Kenya of which only yesterday 4 police where shot dead and a few more just days ago. Its possible that you would slip through without issue but in the face of all the advice I don't feel that I want to accept that risk. I would like to return from Africa in one piece back to Tavool with all limbs in tact (not sure whether my cooking was good enough for Mr Spink to justify advancing a million dollars to get me back in the case of a kidnapping). Its a great shame to miss a section of the ride but feel that it is entirely justified to do this. There are plenty of miles south from Nairobi and its a much more settled area of Africa, certainly it will carry its own risks.
Its the nature of travel in this part of the world that you need to be able to adjust and not place yourself in obvious danger. Also travelling by bicycle  you move very slowly making it very hard to quickly get away from danger. In Sudan the FCO advises that you should not keep the same pattern of movement as there have been kidnappings etc being on a bike would make you a very easy target. It will be a shame to miss the desert but it would be possible to take in a desert at the other end instead.
This will mean that we shall complete Egypt and return to Cairo where we can head to Nairobi and continue the cycle from there heading south by perhaps a more wandering line as time will be on our side.
I hope that this makes sense.