Posts Tagged With: Solo Traveling

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

And then More People became as Slow as us

In the first part of the story I mentioned how the group/gang was originally created. Where a group of four slow bar walker/bar crawlers joined together, Kerstin and Leo from Germany, Brady from USA and I.

Sometime later, on a sunny morning, 4 Km after Leon (a Beautiful city I’ll talk about later). We were having coffee in a bar in a small village. As usual we stayed there for SO long, some of us even drinking two cups of coffee (cafe con leche). Finally we got up, started walking, and we had to cross a street so we were waiting for the green light, when we saw Chris (The Johnnie Walker guy from the first and third day). We crossed the street together the he said (in a heavy Norwegian accent) “Mina, I saw you leaving the albergue two hours ago!! How did it take you so long to just reach here?”

Chris - Special made socks - Complemented by an old lady

Chris - Special made socks - Complemented by an old lady

Embarrassed, I replied “Well we stayed almost 50 minutes in that previous bar”
“You take breaks that early?”
“It’s our second Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How I met my friends on the Camino de Santiago

This is actually a funny story, or maybe it is only funny for us, the group that formed and bonded out of the blue. I’ll just share it with you anyway.

Our group, the people that reached Finisterre, some of us have left a couple of days before.

Our group, the people that reached Finisterre, some of us have left a couple of days before.

I started walking the first day out of Saint Jean Pied de port with the couple that I met and hitch hiked with/without from Pam Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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