Sunday, October 16, 2005

All Himself

As promised although, if you love me, you will scroll down and read me first!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, we got up when the call to prayer from the neighbouring mosque jolted us awake at about 0550. the plan was to head South by 0700 to escape the heat during the 4 hour ride to the Siwa oasis. Breakfast of bread, egg & coffee was ready for us in our hotel by 0600. I'm sure that we're the only guests in the hotel, which is very clean, right across the street from the turquoise green Mediterranean Sea, and costs about $13.00 each with breakfast! And did I mention that gasoline is about 13 cents Canadian per litre. Dispite my surprise, we were actually on the road by 0735. Being Ramadan, there is very little traffic or activity in the mornings so we were on the desert road, heading South, very quickly. Four hours of steady crusing at 60-70 mph across the very flat desert, most of the distance without any vegitation whatsoever. At about the four hour mark, the landscape changed to rocky bluffs, high mesas and a few twisty bits in the road. We came around the last corner and saw the vista of the forest of palms with a large LAKE in the background. After mile-after-mile of flat hot sand and rock, the wall of green was a real shock. We motored into the town, which was bustling with people, and found the gas station. The bikes did well as none of us were on reserve yet after over 200 miles. We found a small shop that sold cold drinks and sat on the curb and ate the sandwhiches that we'd brought with us and watched the parade of people, donkey carts and 4 wheel drive vehicles go by. Fascinating. Feeling rested, we got a local map and motored out to a number of ancient sites, one of which was the Temple of the Oracle, dated at about 550 BC. Alexander the Great came here to pay his respects in about 350 BC. Had a hard-to-believe swimming experience in a large spring-fed, ancient stone lined pool on the edge of the sand desert. Water was at least 25 ft. deep, crystal clear with lots of little fish. Where did they come from we asked ourselves! Rode through the palm forest on narrow dirt roads. Looks like the oasis is about 5 miles / 8 km across. Much of this is irrigated by large ditches fed from the springs. We camped on the edge of the Sahara's sand dunes. Almost perfectly quiet. HJ made a delicious dish of rice and vegtetables and we ate being amazed the we were actually there. A nice bottle of wine would have been very nice, but I haven't seen any of that since Nice, three weeks ago. The moon was about 2/3 full and lit the landscape enough that we could see clearly. A perfect end to a great day ... well, having you there would have been perfect. This morning was very relaxed. After a coffee, Roy & I walked to the top of the nearby dunes. It really was like looking out at a sea of huge sand waves. Packing up the bike and wiping of the persistent oil, I found the problem; a broken breather hose from the left cylinder head. An amazingly quick and straight-forward repair has kept the left side clean after 4 hours of highway speed and I'm much relieved. We're back in our Matrouh hotel tonight and off to the East to El Alamein and maybe Alexandria, tomorro. A longer description of events, today, as we have some time at the computer an this nice shop before any food is available on the streets. My reading glasses escaped from the secure tank-bag storage today; am using the spare ones that you pointed-out for me. must now really be careful with these ones! My riding boots are starting disintegrate. Hope to spot some replacements. My riding jeans are now quite oil soaked and disreputable so I'll be looking to replace those also. Other than that, all seems to be OK, including me. No sickness or pain, yet, although I don't have as much energy in the heat. Certainly no complaints about the mid-Octobrer heat!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi U2,
No not the Rockers.
Thanks for all the travel stories, we get to travel for free. Never been to the desert, never done that, so thanks for the clear insights Gerry. Hey Joan, bring home some of that High Octane goop eh, sounds like a keeper. Keep on truckin' guys & Never let a day go bye!
TR & JR

4:33 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the postcard Gerry, nice sandy beach. He he he. Smile lots but remember to keep your mouth shut!
Ciao,
TR & JR

5:09 p.m.  

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