Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2115, Al Ismaileya – Ras Ghareb: Police Pacing

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Dec - 15 - 2016

Distance: 76.3 km
Ride time: 5:19:13
Average: 14.3 km/h
Max speed: 33.1 km/h
Total: 53239 km

Last night I had fallen asleep in my tent behind a mosque, expecting a quiet night at the tiny settlement of Al Ismaileya. The police seemed to have other ideas as they woke me up at midnight, asking me to move my tent to the police checkpoint. A thing I was happy enough to do, but I wonder why they didn’t tell me earlier in the evening when I asked…

I was ready to leave the checkpoint half an hour before sunrise and it was soon clear that a police car would follow me the whole day. Furthermore I was asked not to take any photos as this area is supposedly a “very sensitive area”. It looked more like a normal desert to me.

I managed to snap a few quick photos anyway when the police car was gone for a few minutes.

The first two hours were nice cycling with manageable wind and temperatures below 30 degrees. Then around 9 the temperature will start to rise rapidly, and the wind will pick up. Once again today my speed were down to around 10 km/h when I got the idea to ask the police guys to drive in front of me instead of behind. That way I could now move forward at 25 km/h sheltered from the wind.

The police were driving in front of me all day, and when we had a lunch stop they even paid for my sandwich and sprite! Earlier in the day I had had very mixed feelings about the police – now I absolutely loved them 🙂

In Ras Ghareb I was once again told that the police would find me a hotel. I told the officer my budget, and to their credit they found me a nice room with air condition and ocean view for a very reasonable price. The Red Sea looks beautiful around here, but its oil instead of tourism that’s the big business in Ras Ghareb.

I’m still not sure what to think about the Egyptian police escorts. They surely take some of the spontaneity out of the cycling, and the extreme freedom is really what I like about this way of travelling. On the other hand I guess they make the trip safer and when they even agree to act as a pace car I’m all OK.

Now let’s see what kind of police experiences tomorrow will bring.

Categories: Egypt
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