We made it – at least Capetown 2 Cairo. If we listen to most guys on the way from Nowhere in Africa to Anywhere in Africa they aim to drive between these 2 towns. Unfortunately we’re neither Capetonians, nor Caironians, so Cape2Cairo may not be our final challenge. We started 9 month and 26 days ago in Maseru and currently made 47 000 km on all kind of African roads and paths. Nevertheless, still some 4000 km and 28 days remain to arrive in Laufenburg for X-mas. So, newsletter ed. 9 is not the last edition. We plan to have another one, probably no more covering a lot of Africa, but switching between continents – to Asia and Europe. This all has to be seen in the perspective that we’re currently making our experiences with real Egyptian bureaucracy and new ways to good governance. Since 5 days we’re on a kind of beach holiday at the Mediterranean Sea, more exactly in the port of the Egyptian town of Damietta, waiting for the Egyptian police to release the vessel bound for Turkey and liberate us serving as a kind of hostages in a money game between the Turk owner of the ship and his Egyptian Agent. Therefore, Monika has her beach retreat; she can recover from the strenuous travel in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. By the way she was no more at the beach since we left Mombasa in Kenia some months ago. Martin, always busy with issues of good governance can study it’s proper application in Damietta port and maybe collect some important documentation for a book he still has to write.
Currently we crossed 14 countries and 13 borders. Time for some remarks on bureaucracy and hassle when moving from 1 place to another.
Easiest: Lesotho – nobody cares. Time 1 minute.
Easy: other countries in Southern Africa – you show your passport and get a stamp before continuing the journey. Time 5-10 minutes, except South Africa where queuing up and making some social contacts seem to be a precondition before receiving a stamp (time depends on aspirations when socializing).
Normal: most other countries – you show your passport and get a stamp; you show the Carnet de Passage and get a stamp. Then you enter the country. Time 15 minutes.
Egypt: you arrive and drink a cup of tea with an agent specialized in customs clearance. He requests you a considerable amount in Dollars for himself, all kind meetings in the different corridors and for a multitude of Government fees. He asks you if you have a sleeping bag, some energy bars and drinking water. Finally he shows you a filthy corner in the arrival building where you might wait for him to finish the procedures. By the w you show your passport and get a stamp before continuing the journey ay, when you leave the country, same procedure, but the other way round. Time 5 days and 4 long nights.
So far, our information to all who still think they want to make all of these 14 countries. As we still have to cross some more challenging borders, including Switzerland, we think we should postpone the final evaluation until we really finished our trip.
For all others enjoy newsletter ed. 9, be happily jealous but don’t take it too seriously and finally wait for number 10.
Monika & Martin