Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2117, Zafarana – Sokhna: Police Paranoia

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Dec - 18 - 2016

Distance: 112.2 km
Ride time: 7:56:35
Average: 14.1 km/h
Max speed: 26.6 km/h
Total: 53469 km

I was a bit surprised to see a police car on the street as soon as I opened the door to my hotel room in the morning. Apparently the police officers had been staying at the same resort during the night, and now they were ready to follow along towards Cairo. I found it mildly comforting to have the police escort when I was cycling through the remote desert, but now that I am passing one fancy resort after the other I don’t really see why I need it.

Having a police car follow you for 5 days straight makes you slightly paranoid. I’m beginning to feel like a prisoner on my own cycling trip. I think the police is there partly to protect me, but I also think that they very much like to keep an eye on the foreigner cycling through their country – the constant reminder not to take any photos suggests this.

At any rate, I’m looking much forward to enter Cairo tomorrow – a place where I hope to be able to walk around all by myself!

The first part of the day went according to plan as I was slowly but steady making my way towards Sokhna. On the way I was passing through a couple of tourist towns where I was actually left alone by the police. I celebrated by having an overpriced cappuccino at a fancy cafĂ© overlooking the Red Sea. There is a lot of Russians in this area who have quite a bit of cash to spend…

Once in Sokhna I ran into the same problem as yesterday. The only place that had an available room was the “Stella de Mare Golf and Country Club”. That sounded like an expensive place to stay, and so it was!

The police was on the phone again with several people. The final conclusion was something along the lines of “You either spend the night at Stella de Mare or you cycle into the desert”. I chose option number two.

The police now followed me to the next checkpoint where they smiled and waved goodbye. Apparently this part of the desert which is bordering Cairo is considered safe. The problem was that the sun was setting and I was still 100 kilometers away from the capital and the next hotel. Even though the police had now left me alone I didn’t feel like wild camping, so I continued as darkness was approaching.

An hour later I passed yet another police check point and a gas station. I asked if I could set up my tent for the night which seemed to be OK. A rather adventurous way to spend the last night on this African ride.

Tomorrow I will be cycling into Cairo for the final stop in Africa! I’m not sure if I have really understood it myself. With the crazy heat, strong head wind, and countless police escorts Egypt has been quite the challenge. I’m honestly very much looking forward to put this chapter of the adventure behind me and enjoy a well-deserved break in this fascinating capital city.

Categories: Egypt
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One Response so far.

  1. Africa has definitely been an adventure!