Arriving in Egypt
We finally got the call that the ferry was in Aqaba at about 9.00pm. Apparently no-one actually knows what the real schedule is and, because chaos generally reigns, it can be anytime. We were all packed up and ready to go and we arrived in the port only to sit around and wait for half an hour. We were then ushered into an unmarked building where we would pay to
get our departure stamps in our passports. Being guided by a local agent, we were looked after pretty quickly - the rest of the masses were rushing around from one line to another, seemingly getting nowhere. After that it was another long wait of one and a half hours at the car before we were told to get onto the dock quickly. We were shown where to park on the dock then told we were in the wrong place and to move the cars over. We then watched hundreds of huge trucks back into the ship for the next 3 hours. Finally when we drove on, there wasn't too much room left. We wouldn't have been to happy if just a few more trucks had arrived! Debs booked us into cabins for a few hours sleep - just about every other passenger slept on the steel decks. The ferry was an old Danish one which the Danes obviously thought wasn't good enough anymore - however with several years of complete and utter neglect, it was pretty interesting accommodation. We then waited another 2 hours before sailing and sailed at 2.30am. After three hours we arrived at Nuweiba and finally docked around 6am. Apparently we were held up because police had come on to the ship "looking for bad men". Then came the legendary Egyptian paperwork. The next 5 hours were spend buying a visa stamp at the bank then taking it to the immigration building (again unmarked), getting entry papers for us and the cars, getting Egyptian licence plates for the car, getting Egyptian drivers' licences and changing money (fighting in the queue with pushers-in).
So we finally left the port at 11.30am! Ten kilometres down the road to Dahab, our water pump seal failed and leaked very hot water all over the place. And Fred's car was overheating too. A stop at the side of the road became lunch as well as a mechanical repair station. Every car that passed honked at us and two Beduoin in old cars stopped to see if they could help. However, with the store of spares, Thiemo was able to get the problems fixed in about an hour and a half.
From there to Dahab, good fortune was with us and there were no more problems! We arrived in time for a luxurious hot shower, and a beer or three and a seafood meal right on the edge of the water.