Today was the dash for Sharm. We planned to get up early and head into Cairo, change buses and away. We had a 6:00 alarm but didn't need it - the call to prayer as normal woke us at 5:50. (As an aside why can't they give all the faithful an alarm clock and let the backsliders and infidels sleep in?) Anyway after breakfast, we all crammed into a taxi to the bus station and we were away.
The journey was uneventful until we reached the edge of Cairo - then we saw what we later realized where the pyramids at Giza. The bus then went into down town Cairo where we saw evidence of the protests everywhere. We passed the road to Tahir square - all blocked off with tanks and troops. There were lots of tanks and troops on the street. The streets looked calm - well it was 9:00 am in the morning. We managed to get confused as the bus didn't go to the bus station we were expecting. So it was into another taxi to the right station. When we told the cab driver we were going to Sharm - he asked if we were visiting Mubarak - and said to keep him there.
We got the bus out at 10:30 and were quite pleased with ourselves. The bus however proved to be a bit of a nightmare. It was supposed to be a 6 ½ hr ride but the driver started by stopping at two outlying bus stations. At the last one a mighty row broke out - a passenger had left her handbag at the first bus station and her husband wanted the bus to wait whilst she went back and retrieved it. This caused a great argument and eventually we went without them. The next problem came as we went to go into the tunnel under the Suez canal. This area was full of military. There was a traffic jam leading up to it that lasted for 1 ½ hours. Just before the tunnel, we pulled into a parking area and were told to get out of the bus with our bags. We then had to identify our hold luggage and an army sniffer dog went round them all to check for explosives.
After this, we had the gulf of Suez on one side and miles and miles of desert on the other. We eventually arrived in Sharm about 2 ½ hours late. We decided not to press on to our preferred place - Dahab - but found a hotel in Sharm, We found a mid range resort and did a deal for £20 a night - a nice place but it could do with a bit of a clean. It had an English bar next door and we felt like we had been transported back to another world - it was middle eastern version of Benidorm. We decided we would move on tomorrow.