The sub-zero disco

I have just come back from Dahab, a beach paradise on the Red Sea, directly opposite Saudi. While sitting on the beach I couldn't help thinking how lucky I was not to be on the other side of the water.

As I can't properly swim, this was never really an issue, and this post is not about lounging about on the beach.

This post is about what was, in my books the worst bus ride ever.

I've been on some bloody awful journeys in my life, but this one really does take the gong of worst trip ever.

There was the 36 hour trip from Shanghai to Chengdu on a hard wooden seat in second class, in which I forgot to pack any food and ate pot noodles while surrounded by bemused Chinese.

There was the oven from Siwa to Alexandria followed by the bumpkin train to Cairo and even the 2 day bus and tractor ride through the jungle in Ghana, but this was the worst ride of the lot.

In all the other cases I was expecting it to be hell, and it was, but nothing could have prepared me for the East Delta bus from Cairo to Dahab.

I got on at 12 midnight, assuming that my sleep-anywhere mechanism was going to kick in shortly thereafter and I would wake up fresh and ready to go in Dahab.

Just as soon as the coach pulled out of Torgomon station in Cairo, the driver put on a movie. The plot of the movie seemed to revolve around loud arguments and gunshots, car chases and explosions along with an assortment of irrational high-pitched shouting matches and at that point I noticed that the bus was actually equipped with additional speakers all over the interior.

Noise I have no problem with and I have slept in gigs before, but the bus also had faulty air conditioning or at least the driver seemed to want to keep it switched to -10 to keep himself awake through the night.

By 4:30 the lights were still on and, with all my luggage in the hold I was sat in a T-shirt with my thighs up around my cheekbones shaking like a leaf.

Any time I tried to sleep, the actors would break into spontaneous arguing and there would be a pointless explosion until at 4:30 I just screamed.

The bus stopped shortly thereafter and I raced off for a piss and some warmth.

The rest of the journey didn't get any better, but on the way home I had to be grateful for the Egyptian entrepreneurial spirit.

Realising that East Delta was running this service to Cairo every day, the hotels in Dahab have put together their own minibus service to Cairo for the same price, which is only for tourists. The lights went off and no dumb music played and the driver was an absolute geezer too.

Oh yeah while in Dahab I climbed Mount Sinai with mini-Andy. Adventures to follow later.
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