Large Safari Sahara

It is customary to think that "Ship desert" – camel. I do not know. Maybe somewhere it is. But in those areas of the Sahara, which is adjacent to the Nile, this "ship" – 80 seater Mercedes "Upper Egyptian bus company".

On board this wonderful machine there is everything you need for autonomous sailing on the sand seas. Soft aircraft. Air conditioner (which, fortunately, almost always inactive, but then). Food and drink reserves. Built-in toilet. And video system so that the seeds are not bored on distant deserted distilts.

Bus Luxury passenger on Egyptian roads boil over other transit public as an angel. His soul is calm. Mind is not poisoned by doubts in a prosperous travel outcome. At the maximum speed of the car’s carcass, the flow of cars, like a battle-sea waves. The four-wheeled Melonga is focused and gives him the road.

except "Verkhnegipetskaya", Egypt has several more bus companies. Arab Union Transport Company The furrowing of a 200-kilometer piece of desert between Cairir and Alexandria. For Egypt, its buses are about the same as for Russia – "Red Arrow". They are even equipped with a cell phone.

Another Arab Union contributes to the maintenance of Arabic unity by its flights to Libya, Syria and Jordan.

WEST DELTA BUS CO. Also cultivated the route between the capital and Alexandria, not neglected by the settlements in bed in the Western half of the Nile delta and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. East Delta Bus Co is lucky from Cairo to the East, to the Suez Canal, on Sinai, to the border with Israel.

But the rest of the country from Cairo to the Asuan dam, the ports of the Red Sea and the Oasis of the Western Desert are the first time Upper Egypt Bus Co. Cell phones in its buses are not found. But other achievements of civilization are available to people. And not only to people (about it – too).

Somehow at night and my wife drove out of Luxor in Cairo.

Here immediately need to explain something. Why from Luxor, what it is in Cairo, why at night?

It all started with the fact that our family, like thousands of other Russian tourists, flew to Hurghada for a week. But just lying for the Red Sea, we seemed a little. In short, we gathered in Luxor. Also not too original decision.

The excursion goes to a standard set of additional entertainment, which 90% of Russian tourists obediently buy from the Egyptian travel agencies hosting them in Hurghada. And we could do the same. But, firstly, the tariffs of our welcoming host seeked me a little overestimated. And secondly, in his one-day program did not fit the evening performance "Sound and light" in Karnakian temple, the best of its kind in Egypt, as I heard.

Urban bus station just flooded. (In the desert, it turns out, there are also shrines and local floods). A battle kiosk, washed from all sides by brown albeit, looked very unolished. Impression is, as I understood later, was deceptive. Intercity flights went as usual. But at that moment, under the influence of the picture of the natural disaster, I decided yet in the hands of the tourist industry professionals. And bought a two-day excursion, but not at our host company, but in a competing turbo who requested 15 less percent services.

Therefore, dawn we met on the way to the Nile, in a close microbus and in a wonderful company: three classic Russian bandits, young and healthy, miniature girl of one of them and an elderly couple from Holland.

The road from Hurghada to Luxor runs along the Red Sea, then turns from him at right angles, crosses the desert, rests on the Nile, turns cool again and goes on along the Great River. Just over 200 kilometers. But the process of their overcoming proceeds very uneven.

Highway in several places overlapped by police posts. From morning tourists buses, microbuses and taxis leave Hurghada with a huge caravan. Before each post, the caravan freezes at least half an hour. Between posts drivers arrange something like sugar "Formula 1". There is no point in this race, because in the end everything is achieved by Luxor at the same time. But a good intermediate result raises the chauffeur in his own eyes.

Countrymen turned out to be very innocent guys. It would be wrong to say that they poorly understood where we were going. Because they did not understand this altogether. In the way I had to advise the brutal on the issues. Namely: in which country is Luxor (answer: in Egypt) and is not the police post with the state border (the correct answer: no). The guys were so amazed by this stream of intimate knowledge, which for the whole day stopped swearing by mat.

However, the strongest impressions were still waiting for them (and us) ahead. As long as driven drove on a relatively free desert road, his hardship almost did not act on the nerves. But we jumped to the Nile, that is, where the whole population of Egypt is concentrated and all transport.

On a 70-kilometer segment from Ken (where the desert highway meets with the river) to Luxor, I felt very not in my plate. Not only because on a two-band highway we have, in the case of which was a poor choice. On the right – a big channel (this is such a meliorative structure along the Nile, very deep and inconvenient in order to fall into it). And on the left – the continuous oncoming stream of machines, whose speedometer also clearly was more than a hundred km / h.

And not only because our chauffeur, flying into someone else’s strip, was overtaking, fraught with a frontal collision.

And not only because clumsy carts climbed under the wheels.

But also because it is here that a sprawled heat driver began to peel his nose driving.

"Light and sound" In Karnak – and really a magical spectacle. Fragments of the temple in each other appear from the darkness and speak the voices of the pharaohs who have commanded them to erect them.

Tutankhamon’s grave turned out to be so-so, for the real pharaoh is cramped.

The young impressive guide, who owned three European languages, offered me a few camels for his wife. But I decided that since we came to Luxor together, I should leave the same. And I still solved that in no case we will no longer go on that crazy road on a small car. Therefore, by the evening of the second Luxor day, they took us to his bark "Upper Egyptian company".

Life confirmed the rationality of choosing a visual example. Two weeks after our departure on the road near Hurghada, the tragedy. Crashed a bus with tourists from Russia. Six of our and the Egyptian guide died. But another 20 people remained relatively well. On "Rafik" Nobody survived in this situation.

Face to face with cockroach

The start of the trip reminded me of one bass goat Prutkova:

In the mountains of the Gishpania heavy crew

With the conductor went to the voyage.

Gishpanka, Sevzha in him, immediately fell asleep;

And her husband takes her tarantula,

Cried up: "Conductor stand!".

Well, in the final, the conductor kills the insect,

"PRIVING: "You didn’t pay for money!"

We were all wrong. Tracakan (and not a tarantula), who was driving into the capital to the same flight, leaning out due to the curtain, did not scare me, and my wife. Catch the creature failed. In the bus she felt at home (yes, probably, he considered him his home). And our conductor did not pay attention to the incident with insects: he had more affection.

The states of all firms in Egypt, according to our standards, inflated. Work with which we would handle one person, do there (or do not) two. So in this country are struggling with unemployment.

Bus crew "Verkhnegipetskaya" On long-range flights the same as "T-34": Four. Two interchangeable chauffeur, ticket and waiter (though, on the routes shorter the chauffeur one). But besides them, another mass of employees of the company scattered along the road. Responsibilities of some, as I noticed, are reduced to the kiosk with a signboard Upper Egypt Bus Co. To wave a pass. Other bus brake and check tickets.

These tickets deserve attentive consideration. My, for example, consisted of three multi-colored leaves bonded by a stipode and coated mysterious to me. Looks like controllers the meaning of these signs was also not quite obvious. At each stop, they looked at me for a long time, they returned it to me and again asked for a more careful study, argued with each other, called for help drivers and some people from the street. But then allowed to continue the way.

Other controllers come to the road. In shape and in civilian. They are not interested in tickets, but the passengers themselves. True, foreign passports they do not even take. The fact is that these brave guys are looking for non-spies, but local ill-wishers of the ruling president. Interestingly, at night, the police are not worried at all. Probably, the guards of the order think that extremists move around the country only in the daytime.

There are no lamps and traffic lights on the roads. But there are vehans that brazenly cover half the roadbeds, healthy holes in this canvas (and in some way and its complete absence) and rock ledges: at night they are exactly the same black as well as the space around. So as not to crash into all this and in each other, counter cars from afar shot. Seeing the light of foreign headlights, the driver turns off his own (and a couple of seconds rushes forward either to the touch, or in memory). Then the machines are worried about the near and long-term light, safely diverges, and here a new pair of headlights (or two-three-four-four) is shown because of a beast or turning, and the maneuver is repeated once over time, an hour after an hour until it breaks away or the road will not end. By itself, and in the dark, where only the state of the track allows, drivers keep speed not lower than a hundred.

Ticket in the meantime, he entertains the driver with conversations and recking cigarettes for him. Without taking seriously no smoking sign, men’s half of the passengers also smokes very conscientiously. So it’s good that air conditioning is disabled. He would never have coped with so much smoke. And through open windows, the salon is wonderful.

The ticket also changes the cassette in the VCR recorder, on which to commercials itself "Verkhnegipetskaya" Advertising washing powder, chocolate, short religious sermons and films: Local (very dramatic, but worried a little amateur) and Hollywood (with Arab subtitles and bed scenes without censorship).

The waiter without tiredly soldering passengers to dry soldering, soft drinks and sweets at prices three times higher than what they stand over the bus.

Large Safari Sahara

In the light of the headlights, when only the stars weakly glowed above, and on the sides of the night turned everything into one impenetrable blackness, these sandy drifts reminded me of snow verakans, which at the same time of the year outlines on the highway of the Russian Polar region. Similarity was all the more complete that night in the desert was not hot at all. Fortunately, passengers began to hack and threw the smoke. I slammed the window.

Cairo in the first minutes suppressed us as it probably suppresses visitors from the Altai Territory.

In any Egyptian settlement, there is a Tahrir Square (T. E. "Liberation" – This refers to the overthrow of the monarchy in 1952). But Cairo Tahrir is the main Tahrir country. Before liberation, the British Army barracks were stood here. Egyptians erased the legacy of colonialism from the face of the Earth and created in its place not so much area as a multi-storey web of transport junctions. Machine flows are poured on Tahrir from all sides at once, mixed well and scatter into different ends of Cairo again. In the midst of this chaos, a Luxor bus uploaded us.

I decided that my wanders, career and life ends. In order to start finding the night in the Egyptian capital, it was necessary to first cross the area. That is, rush under the wheels. To the left and right of me there was a pair of traffic lights, and right in front of me – even a real lively adjustor. Traffic lights blinked, policeman waved a rod, but no lumen on the highway did not appear.

With surprise, I noticed that there is no clearance of the Cairz and do not need. Men, women in Muslim handkerchiefs and even adolescents began to go to the stream of iron monsters, a smooth step crossed it and the unavailable reached the opposite sidewalk.

Later, I realized that it was in the smooth step and the secret of a pedestrian longevity in Cairo is. Egyptian drivers, despite their crazy yard, in essence are very helpful and to each other, and to pedestrians. The main thing is that they see a person on the road, and then the principle works correctly: "do not tram".

The courtesy of the Cairo chauffeurs, they say strongly promotes the kind folk tradition: to lick the perpetrators of serious accidents in place, before the police appear. Bloody accidents I in Cairo, fortunately, did not see, but the idea of ​​how popular justice works, received. A good dressed Mr. unsuccessfully parked and knocked out on the back wing of another car dents of half the palm. In a matter of minutes, noisy, a lively gesticulating crowd of a person in 50 – from passersby and sellers of the nearest stores, and most disputes clearly did not have a relation to one of the cars.

Overnight in Cairo Fate sent us wonderful. Laid from Tahrir Square, I first lost, and then I went to the Hotel Des Roses. Coloring this place I appreciated immediately. Roses there, however, did not turn out (just like towels and toilet paper). It was spacious, with a high ceiling room on the last (eighth) floor of a huge house built somewhere at the end of the last century. The balcony overlooking the lively street was ideal for observing the daily life of simple Cair.

DES ROSES internal design style can be called Spartan. The only real decoration is the porcelain semi-nailed Guria about a third of the genuine value: not a very big statuette, not the little statue. Beauty faced in a seductive position on the landing. Probably cleaners are shy to touch this defiantly boldly on Muslim dame canons. Therefore, its charms are covered by a layer of dust petrified. But marble floors and bed linen in DES Roses are clean. And all these wonders of comfort cost only 40 pounds for a double room with breakfast.

A little later I appreciate the benefits of the strategic location of the hotel. The street, which was published by our balcony, is called Talaat Harb. This is one of the commercial hearts of the city (at the 18 million Cairo Cairo, of course, several). The first floors of buildings here – a solid string of shop windows, cafes and cinemas. In the evenings, Talaat Harb fill the crowds of walking Cairters. In general, directly at the DES ROSES threshold can be implemented all the main instincts of the Russian tourist: to be touched, staring on the sides and make shopping. Objects for people with more advanced cultural and consumer requests are 10-15 minutes walk: the Egyptian Museum with Tutankhamon Gold, Neil with walks on fellulls and five star hotels with luxury restaurants.

Talaat Harb Street brings Talaat Harb on the round square. In the center of which the bronze image of Mr. Talat Harba himself, public figure of the beginning of the century, founder of the National Bank itself. The monument is satisfied with the day-time day around him go from hands to the hands of banknotes with the inscription National Bank of Egypt.

Vidal Square and Events more fateful, rather than hiking shops shopping. At the turn of the 40s and 50 undergrounders from the organization "Free officers" They solved in local teahouses, what to do with the Faruk’s aspiolent king and the battered British. The names of the two participants of those friendly sites (as a result of which in Egypt did not become a king, nor the British) are now immortalized in the names of the nearest metro station: "Nasser" and "Sadat".

Yes, yes, in Cairo there is a subway. The only thing in Africa. Very clean, comfortable and cheap (0.5-0.8 pound). From those attractions to which from Talaat Harb do not walk on foot, half you can drive around on the subway. Unfortunately, the subway does not take to the main monument of Egypt – pyramids. To get there, you need to leave Cairo, pass through the city of Gizu and, finally, arrive in the village of Nabol-AS-Samman. True, where one settlement ends and the other begins, only local drivers know exactly. Streets, filled at night electric advertising light, stretch continuously from the center of the Egyptian capital until the foot of the pharaoh asspirrians. The pyramids themselves several times overnight also flare out with multicolored lights. Here gives ideas "Light and sound", of the same type as in the carnac.

Whiskey – bridge between nations

Egyptians – Devilski enterprising people. A rare minute to the tourist in Egypt does not offer something to buy, go somewhere, in general, somehow part with money.

But we have tested the most unusual deal with two brothers-griz (or Gizyans?) That evening when we looked "Light and sound" on pyramids. The Lord, not only a gift taken us to Cairo and ride around the city, but also handed over 100-dollar bills from themselves.

The essence of their interest was that. The brothers were not fools to drink a good alcohol. But in Egypt whiskey, jin and generally imported alcohol is subject to terrible tax. Provided, however, small outlet – Duty Free shops. In them, any foreigner (and the Egyptian who visited abroad) for the firm currency has the right to catch high quality "Green Zmeim" on dealscent prices. In such places, it is not more than an enon number of bottles in one hands, and the mark of the visit to the Duty Free is placed directly to the passport. Having learned that my passport was still clean, the brothers gave me a hundred and lucky to turn her into a desired product.

In gratitude, the drinks showed us what kind of car in Cairo. Never, never a foreigner driving will pass in this city and one hundred meters. Well, except that first will live here as much as you need to become Cairoz.

The process of movement in the minimum degree is regulated by standard road rules. Potential problems Drivers are with permanent communication with each other: beeps (so everyone is continuous), blinking headlights, gestures, voice. In peak situations, someone pops up from the car and turns into an improvised regulator.

I drove to the Khan-El Khalili market – the quarters of the shops, the streets between which at best are suitable for the passage of one car. In addition, they are clogged with crowds of sellers and buyers. Among which, however, manage to catch the truck and carts. And that evening, on our misfortune, also mayor of Cairo inspected Han el-Khalili. Nervous police overlap the alleys along the movement of the Egyptian Luzhkov.

In one place, I decided that we arrived. Right in the forehead went out another car, and there was an equestrian wagon and a giant trolley on the human rift, loaded with some boxes. Each square centimeter between them was filled with pedestrian bodies. But no. Horse reluctantly fed back. Mountain boxes shown somewhere. Cars pressed to showcases, mystically, as it always happens in Cairo, passed through people and. Reversed.

At night, Cairo sparkles with all the colors of the rainbow. During the day it becomes yellowish gray – the colors of sandy dust, which over time covers any urban facade, no matter how paint the builders. On the outskirts of the sand color house smoothly go just in the sand. The desert begins right in the city. Besides her, behind the bus window for several hours there will be nothing. Other Color – Blue Sea – will just seem closer to Hurghada. "Uppergipetskaya company" Returns us to the starting point of the bus safari.

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