Aw well bad news again, but its given me time for a well earned rest and to catch up with my blog and a few other bits. Once I start travelling it will be more difficult to keep up with the blog, especially if the signal is poor which is very likely.
The box containing the contents of Tracy and some spares is still at the airport and has been approved by the horticultural inspection (because it was in a wooden box and may have all sorts of bugs hiding in there!!) Anyway its passed that one and is now subject to a pharmaceutical inspection. No idea why it needs this inspection but as I didn’t pack it (This is early notice of my defence if there is anything dodgy in it!! 🙂 This inspection needs to be done by doctors and they wont be available until Wednesday and then we have to wait for their report which will probably be Friday when everyone is off . So looks like it’s going to be Saturday before anything moves anywhere.
So I’ve moved from the posh hotel back to the noisy 2 star Transit in the middle of Alexandria. It’s noisy but comfortable and got all I need here. Big decisins about what to do with Tracy but in the end I braved another drive back into the middle of the city after getting her washed and cleaned inside and out.
I then found the rear number plate was already hanging off on one screw so called into Toyota to see the wonderful service manage Mr Sharif. He has been great and again got one of his mechanics to fix it on properly within a few minutes of arrival and assuring me I will be a priority as soon as I get the parts from customs.
Once I got into Alexandria it was keeping an eye on the road by the hotel so I could park it reasonably securely as there is a guard there all night. I got a spot after a few hours and then saw later on that the guard had added some security with an old tarpaulin acquired from somewhere. She will be fine util the weekend now.
On the bay from the hotel I stopped to get some bits out of my bag and had these two locals come across to chat. Very interested in where I was from and happy to help promote Scotland after the camel train had passed by.
Yesterday afternoon once I had booked into my old hotel again I had a wonderful time with members of the Alexandria Red Crescent. Mohammed and Asma were great and even took me for dinner at a local restaurant to eat something called Koushari I think. Pasta, chick peas, liver and fried onions. It was lovely but I could only manage half the portion which was huge!! Thank you to both of them
Today was another lie in despite the traffic noise, I’m quite immune to it by now and then a reorganising of bags so I am sorted for the next few days and then preparing for the main trip to Cairo whenever that starts. It also gave me time to hunt around for another Egyptian kilt maker. What really surprised me was the number of people who recognised me despite the fact I wasn’t wearing my kilt. (It was in a bag as a pattern along with the blue Egpytian tartan) Lots of people shouted out, “Hey Scotland or William Wallace” Anyway it looks like I have one who will get the job done by Friday, I will let you know!!
I also manged to get my hair cut and beard trimmed by Akmar. I got the works including head massage, nose and eat hairs removed and of course beard trimmed and hair cut. I’m pretty relaxed about all this and happy to let the local barber decide whats best. (It will grow again no matter what he does) He tortured me with face threading but then he did my ears too. That’s a first. I did my best to remain string and pretend it didn’t hurt but I don’t think Ahmad was convinced:)
This afternoon I had a walk along the water front where lots of people stroll or just sit on the big promenade wall watching the world go by. There are a few fishermen dotted about. The picture shows one lad in the distance with no shoes on and using just a piece of wood with a line on it. The fish that I saw being caught and kept were really small, smaller than finger length.
I had a Mango ice cream and found it was like chewing gum to eat and was an acquired taste, but I managed as usual to finish it. I saw the big open top red bus pass as I struggled with the ice cream and was amazed when I left and started walking to see it had travelled about 30 yards still packed with tourists. I haven’t even thought about using it and wont. The traffic is so slow you can walk much faster than the bus. The exhaust fumes alone will send you to an early grave and I imagine 99% of the passengers smoke too !!.
Tonight there was a huge thunderstorm, its autumn here now so they will get more and more common. I was pleased to be back in my hotel before it started. However from my balcony I saw an ambulance with sirens on making its way through the traffic and was very impressed to see a young uniform police officer carrying his cap getting completely soaked. in the torrential rain. He was running in front of the ambulance clearing the way banging on the back of cars and telling them to move. I watched him clear at least 100 metres of road and then disappear still running and moving the cars out the way. I hope his efforts were worthwhile. Either way he deserves recognition for his efforts. The video clip of normal f chaos was taken just before the real downpour but gives you an idea of traffic and noise