Southbound

Routine and traveling do not necessarily fit in the same category. Yet, packing is just another activity that routinely ensues for those constantly on the go.  And after 2 months, familiarity became the undertone of such practice. If it once involved one hour to put it all together, now garments can easily be fitted inside the luggage within twenty minutes. Here I am again though – ready to leave another country only to head into unknown grounds. Bags are packed and energies restored.

The 10-hour bus ride from Dahab back to Cairo had a rather interesting occurrence. Before entering the Suez Canal tunnel, the military police stopped the bus. All passengers had to descend, take all their belongings and form a line parallel to the vehicle. Next, an officer walked an intimidating German Sheppard dog among the bags and passengers – most likely searching for some incriminating evidence. The entire process lasted for long 15 minutes and luckily the bus was able to continue the travel with all passengers back on board.

Police and military brigades are actually common sights along the roads in Egypt. On the way to Mt. Sinai, our car was also stopped at least three times. Having a passport in hands was the best solution to expedite the process – being Brazilian was definitely a plus. Same principle applied for the return; yet, the extra number of passengers only made the inspection longer.

Despite this long journey, Dahab (and the entire Sinai peninsula) was worth the hassle. Indeed, one of the greatest natural sceneries encountered thus far. The blue sea contrasting with the brown desert mountains create a unique sight.  The best view, however, cannot be seen without some extra effort. Below the Red Sea water, an entire world of corals, fish and incredible beauty awaits to be explored.

Recommendations: watching the sunrise from the top of Mount Sinai, exploring ancient archeological sites near Cairo and snorkeling/diving in Dahab. Before arriving in Egypt, be aware that just like any other developing nation, the country has its problems – and they should be accounted for before stepping on Egyptian sand. However, pollution, traffic and poverty should be no novelties for the weary traveler. And an open mind always facilitates the adaptation process.

In such context, violation of human rights is an issue amidst Egyptian society. Freedom of speech, prisoners’ torture and religious freedom are some of the common violations. Institutions like the “Egyptian Organization for Human Rights” work to improve this reality and address the needs of individuals. More information on this subject is soon to be posted.

The future is uncertain. Tanzania is next, and although Burundi offers a great opportunity, I still have not booked a flight. Time is passing by rather rapidly. Definitely a good sign; yet, it makes me apprehensive. Writing, editing, taking photos, traveling, posting pictures, answering emails, traveling, packing, unpacking, traveling, filming, transferring footage is indeed a full time job and it certainly consumes most of the hours. By no means I am complaining about it – oh the joy of having such opportunity. It makes me apprehensive though because in such hurried reality, I have also become a victim of the times. But like they say, if you cannot defeat your enemy, befriend it

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