(Day 45) Luxor to Red Sea – 14 May 2011
Distance for the day – 625 km
Odometer – 13 781 km
Hours on the Bike – 07:32
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 129 756.50
We had our last long hall today and covered 625 km’s on a road that would, under normal circumstances, be easy driving, but was a huge challenge for us because of Gail force winds. We averaged on the trip thus far a fuel consumption of just over 21km/L. Well, today we at some stages barely got 14km/L.
We left Luxor, following the route North all along the Nile for the first 60 km’s, which was scenic but slow, because of many security Police checkpoints, every one to five km’s apart. They mostly waved us through at these checkpoints with a couple that we had to stop to answer the usual questions. “Wher’e you come from, wher’e you going?” They were all very friendly and we had no problems. We then turned east on a quiet road to the Red Sea to join a beautiful double road along the coastline heading North.
We were all amazed by the developments along the coastline of the Red Sea. The one impressive Holiday Resort upon the next is being built. A lot of them seem to be halted for some reason and you drive through these ghost towns with half finished buildings everywhere. Where are all these Holiday makers coming from? Hurghada seems to be the favourite spot with most developments around here. Another very scenic area, with big mountains on the shore line is a further 300 km’s north of Hurghada, also bursting out of it seems with new resorts being built.
The brown hostile Dessert landscape is edged off with the bright blue colour of the beautiful Red Sea. The Red Sea stretches over an area of 2 250 km’s in length and 355 km’s in width .It is the world’s northern most tropical sea and is a diving Mecca for the adventurous that likes to scuba dive, with over 2000km’s of coral reefs to explore. The Suez Canal in the northern part joins the Red sea with the Mediterranean Sea and has always been a popular gateway for ships. It however lost its popularity in the 70’s due to wars and currently the route around Cape Town is still mostly used.
The Red Sea is one of the most saline bodies of water in the world, due to high evaporation and very little precipitation as well as the lack of significant rivers or streams draining into the sea. Wind is the driving force in the Red Sea for transporting the material either as suspension or as bed load.
We had it all planned to stop the night at an isolated resort by the name of Hotel Mar Rojo. We arrived at 15:30 at a closed entrance. The name of the resort was now the Zaafarana Hotel & Resort, but unfortunately closed not so long ago.
Is this the effect of the political unrest that Egypt is currently facing and the decline in 95% in the tourist business, as one businessman reported? The Hotel in Luxor was also a shining example of what the whole tourist industry is currently facing. It had hundreds of rooms with only a handful of visitors. In fact the section of the Hotel that we occupied was without electricity when we arrived, which obviously was isolated when not in use. The number of horse coaches and taxi’s in Luxor that are just parked is another testament of an industry in a bleeding stage. They hassle you with a sense of urgency and are prepared to cut their rates to the bone, just to get your business.
We ended the day at the Stella Mare Hotel & Resort and were glad to stop, unpack and relax. The wind of day was most challenging and we were all pretty tired. The rate for the night of $50 per person included dinner, bed and breakfast. Tomorrow we have only 150km to Cairo and are all much exited to finish the journey.