Posts Tagged With: delays

Don’t Tell My Mother – Part III – Final Lies

In Part I of this story, the whole lie began, and I was “kind of” stuck in a city while again lying to my parents  and telling them I’m in a totally different cities so they wouldn’t freak out about safety. And I also started getting loads of phone calls from the Tourism Police, which starting to worry me because I didn’t want to get introuble there, without being able to even call my parents and tell them I’m in trouble (More and more trouble…get it?)

Mistake, Again!

So after loads of phone calls, and after the tour at the beautiful monastery of St. Catherine, at 11 we finally met Officer “Osama Amer”, first thing he asked for was my national ID, biggest mistake was that I gave it to him. He looked at it and put it in his pocket! Now I was stuck, can’t leave until ‘he lets me go’.

National ID Card

National ID Card

He started asking if Anna, the American Pilgrim/Tourist that was accompanying me, will leave today or tomorrow, when I said she will leave tomorrow, on foot, things got a little crazy! At first he didn’t understand, so I explained to him her pilgrimage and what she is doing and showed him her book where every night she gets a stamp or a couple of words from her host to prove she’s been to everywhere. That is when things started getting annoying to me. He started laughing, asking me if I’m sure she’s not lying, making fun of her pilgrimage, and making fun of me for believing her.

I won’t take BS!

All I had to do (and I thank God for giving me this idea) was stand up, pretend I was leaving (yes, without my ID card). He called me and I was like “If you’re talking to me to have a little laugh and make your soldiers laugh at me, then you’d better start calling the American embassy in Egypt and see how you plan to escort her to Taba, I’m out of this and I have nothing to do with it, and see if your sarcasm will do good with the embassy now”

“I didn’t mean to be sarcastic, Dr. Mina you’re like my son and I didn’t mean to be mean to you or anything. I repeat my apology.” And he started talking again that it is impossible for her to walk under any circumstances.

Now I hate myself for using the American embassy card, I actually hate the fact of discrimination between people according their place of birth, face it: it’s 100% luck. But if I hadn’t done this, to a character like that officer, things might have went a little out of hand. So I’m sorry for using this, because I know it will be annoying to many people, not just me.

I told him she doesn’t have money to take a bus or a taxi to Taba. He said I should drive her there, or she could stay at the monastery until there’s a tour bus going to Taba and he will make sure she’s on that bus with them. “But tomorrow is Sunday and the monastery is closed, so no tour busses tomorrow, so she’ll have to wait until Monday!”

Feeling a little bit defeated, even Anna told me in she gave up a while ago but was just going on to annoy him, because we can 🙂 So we finally agreed that she’ll go to Taba by car, and that I will drive her there, now. (Thinking to myself, nice, now I need more excuses to be extra late on my way from “Dahab” back to Sharm).

Our escort to Taba. A real man!

View from my room in St. Catherine Monastery Guest House

View from my room in St. Catherine Monastery Guest House

And just as I thought this was over with the Tourism police, he starts to leave, I ask for my ID card, he says not now, because we can’t leave now. We’ll have to wait for another officer who will accompany us as a safety escort until Taba.

We waited for around 30 minutes for our escort to arrive. And no, he wasn’t a bodybuilding boxing wrestling championship that is totally armed as I thought a safety escort would look like. He was a brown, tall and really skinny guy in a grey suit, with no guns or armour or even anything to prove he works for the police. Except for the Egyptian Flag pin on the left side of his suit.

My car fell inlove with Blacksmiths

We Head towards Taba, and 30 minutes later, that loud voice i heard to the way to St. Katherine was there again. This time we weren’t infront of a city though, we were in the middle of nowhere. I kept going for a bit, looking from the corner of my eye atthe soldier that is with us, waiting for him to take action, make a phone call, makes sure we are not stuck in the “dangerous desert” that he came to protect us from. Nothing.

So after a while I find a gas station and ask them if they know anyone close to fix this. They told me there are close by hotels that have their own workshops, maybe theres a mechanic there. I went in there and as suspected, no mechanic. But another blacksmith. He told me he never worked on cars and I told him I know, but I guess the car is used to having blacksmiths work on it now, so it’s no problem, just do your best and make it go to Taba and back to Sharm el Sheikh and then I’ll find a real mechanic there.

45 minutes later the car was ready to go, doesn’t sound like a butterfly, more of an angry bee, but I had to get going so I just went.
As soon as I reached Taba, our escort told me he’ll leave us here by this check point. I told him I’m going back to all the way to Sharm if he wants to be dropped off anywhere but he said a police car will come pick him up in a while.

I kept going with the car until the road was over, with a sign that said “Taba Land Port”. That is when I stopped, said goodbye to Anna and watched her walk through the Port.

More lies?

And then headed on my way back. Hoping and praying that the car will not break again.

My parents? Yes ofcourse they called me “It is almost 3pm when are you planning to come back to Sharm?”
“I’ll start in a while, I’m just having lunch now and as soon as I;m done I’ll start going”

By the time I reached Nuweiba “I headed out of Dahab and the car broke again!! So I went back inside Dahab and I’m fixing it now, and very soon I’ll be on my way back”

Right before Dahab it was almost 5pm, so my dad called, a little mad for me wasting the whole day again, so I said “I’m midway between dahab and Sharm but the car’s sound is really loud and its not accelerating, so I’m taking it slow so it doesn’t break again!”

A: St Catherine, B:Nuweiba, C:Where the car broke, D:Taba, E:Where my dad called and I told him I'm mid-way :D, F:Sharm el Sheikh

I reached there by 5.40 pm, meaning I was going on a minimum of 115Km/Hr. I know I’m a bad kid, I didn’t mean to do all that but the thing is… (oh yes I;m going for a moral of the story) … it’s never just one small lie, it all started with me planning to not tell my dad that I’ll drive an extra 100Km, and I ended up lying, lying, and lying. Which is not something I’m very proud pf, but it happened already. And there was no chance of changing it after doing that first small lie for a good cause.

So moral of the story: Check your car before you go on a road trip. It could be a huge pain the ass!

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Categories: Egypt, Sinai | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

One further addition to the slow group

Previously I’ve mentioned how our slow walking group was gathered, and started increasing in number. I’ve written one post about how the initial group started, and then another one about how Chris joined in.

A few days later,one of the amazing people we met and that has been walking with us in an on/off pattern called us to meet up in Foncebadon, a city that was almost 25-28 Km from where we would start our walk.The day didn’t start off very good, it was really cloudy, and then started raining really bad.

Bad Weather

Bad Weather on the Camino

By noon, however, or as usual, it got really sunny and really hot. But not for too long, because by 3 in the evening it was Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Injured In The Desert

Imagine being in the middle of nowhere, you look in all directions around you and all you see is yellow sand dunes. Amazing yeah? Well it is! It is breath taking and stunning and all those words that describe beautiful places. But at some point you wish you were in a city, a place where an ambulance can reach you. Well I had that feeling for a fraction of a second when I thought I broke my spine! Luckily though, it was only a strong cramp in my back muscles.

We were crossing through the desert, me and my friend from Amazigh Expeditions. We were heading to a hot spring to have a shower there. A lovely morning, with lovely sand, warm weather in January (the previous night was freezing cold so I was really enjoying the sun at noon), no speed limit, no traffic signs, you just speed and drift to take turns, no specific streets; it’s heaven!

Sand Drifting

Sand Drifting

Suddenly, we hit a small speed bump like structure made of Continue reading

Categories: Egypt, Siwa | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How I Finally Got to SJPP (#3)

You can read Part one and Part two of this story here.

So Tom, Camilla and I decided not to wait for 7 more hours for the bus to Saint Jean Pied de Port (SJPP), and that we will hitchhike to there instead starting now. Two nights no sleep, two days no proper meals, I just decide to follow them and see how it goes. We follow our designated route which turns out to be longer than I have expected…WAY longer than I have expected.

We end up walking 2 hours 30 minutes, with only 1 stop in the middle at a supermarket where I got an apple and water. Something general about me personally, Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Homeless in Pamplona (#2)

You can read part one of this story here.
Still on the bus to Soria, I don’t want to fall asleep because I am afraid that the bus has any stops after Soria and I’ll miss leaving the bus in Soria, and honestly I did not feel like getting lost at the moment. I reach Soria, get out of the bus and grab my backpack and wait for 15 minutes to the next bus. There seemed to be many backpackers also waiting for the Pamplona bus, which made me feel a little better for some unknown reason.

On the 1 and a half hours bus to Pamplona I just couldn’t resist passing out (was it only a 1 and half hour bus?). It was dark already, and I had 2 seats beside each other for myself, so I just made myself comfortable and tiredness did the rest. I woke up while we were getting into Pamplona however, and noticed Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

When You Go Against The Omens

This was the first journal entry I wrote, it was on the bus from Madrid.

Let me just copy the first paragraph right out of my journal, unedited:
“August 23rd: I’m writing this on a bus to Soria, a city I don’t even know where it is on the map, but it is where I’ll change busses to take my second bus to Pamplona; a city I know almost nothing about, again, except that they have a bull running festival there that hopefully I’ll go to someday. Anyway I’ll arrive at Pamplona past midnight, with no hotel or hostel booking. So hopefully I’ll find somewhere for tonight until I take tomorrow’s bus to SJPP, I really need a goodnight’s sleep today, been a while since I slept!”

Map of my bus journey

A: Madrid; B: Soria; C:Pamplona; D:Saint Jean Pied de Port, France.

August 23rd, my first day in Spain! Well, let’s go back to August 22nd; it’s when all the bad omens actually started…

Bad Omen #1: Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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