We arrived in the Sinai peninsula on 22nd December after
a one hour ferry trip from Aqaba in Jordan.
arrival at Nuweiba around 1.00pm, the "foreigners"
were herded into a small compartment at the front of
the ferry and told to wait there until the cars had
disembarked. Then we proceeded downstairs - without
our passports. (These had been handed to immigration
officials whilst on the ferry from Aqaba in Jordan
- see this under the
Jordan section). Apparently, these would be
handed to us on shore when we had obtained the relevant
again, officialdom had triumphed. The immigration officials
on board the ferry were able to take our passports,
issue and receive completed immigration forms but were
not permitted to issue Visa Stamps or stamp our passports
with an entry visa. Good one!
we followed a tourist policeman to a building where
we paid US$15 each for our visa stamp (cash only
and only US dollars, thank you very much). We then carried
our precious stamp (much like a postage stamp) to another
building where an Immigration Official came out with
a handful of passports. It was on for young and old
- literally "Select a passport here"
- as we grabbed at a passing passport and hoped nobody
was grabbing ours. We licked and stamped our visa stamp
into place and were then free to go.
where? For some strange reason, we were not
allowed out of the gates of the port. Those passengers
going by bus to Cairo were directed to the bus
within the gates but half a dozen of us were intent
on going into Nuweiba itself and this took some
time. Every time we tried to leave, the police at the
gates refused and told us to wait. Well, we did! We
waited until the policeman at the gate was holding up
a group of French tourists and made a run for it, accompanied
by a Japanese guy and a Kiwi named Dane. Strangely,
the policeman didn't even seem to care once we had got
through the gate. Out of his control perhaps?
to Dahab?" we were immediately approached by
a local tout. Now the LP had said EP12 (egyptian
pounds) from Nuweiba to Dahab but these
guys wanted EP20 each and they were not budging.
We sat for a while at a nearby cafe and had a coffee
and something to eat whilst we haggled. But we couldn't
get them to lower their price beyond EP35 per
couple and that only if we found one more couple to
complete the six persons necessary to fill the taxi.
We persuaded a French couple to join us and set off
The Egyptian Pound confuses one rather. You
keep thinking "How expensive!"
because the word Pound has connotations of the
the conversion rate when we were in Egypt was
EP4.5 to A$1.00 - not bad at all!
journey to Dahab showed us scenery much the
same as from Wadi Rum to Aqaba, deep
gulleys through high jagged mountain ranges with
everything in monotones of grey and beige.
However, the road was excellent and we made the
trip in a little over an hour, pulling in to Assalah
(the backpackers part of Dahab) around 4pm.
We piled out of the Peugeot and smiled at each other
- this looked like a great place to spend Christmas.
People of all nationalities were wandering through
the main street and hotel signs abounded. Time to
find a place to stay!!!