Cross Egypt Challenge and 4 extra days

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May 19th, 2013, 02:51 PM
  #1
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Cross Egypt Challenge and 4 extra days

Hi Folks:
Ok, I'm off to Egypt in Novermber to take part in the Cross Egypt Challenge.
www.crossegyptchallenge.com

Now you're probably asking what the heck is that? Well I'm a scooter rider and this is a 2500 km tour of Egypt by motor scooter. There will be up to 30 of us riding as a group. From Alexandria to Cairo, down thru several oasis and both the White and Black deserts, then over to Luxor, out to the Red Sea coast then up the Red Sea shoreline and back to finish on the Plains of Giza at the Pyramids.

My plan is to arrive in Cairo dinner time on Sunday Nov 3, have Monday and Tuesday in Cairo (what should I do to maximize two days in Cairo) then Wednesday morning take the train up to Alexandria (how to book that?) and be in Alexandria Wednesday and Thursday. I meet up with the start of the scooter adventure around dinner time Thursday. Then the 9 days of riding start on Friday morning.

I'd like to see the Egyptian museum and some of the mosques and other sites of Cairo while I'm there. So.... what can you folks suggest?

Also, specific advice on the train from Cairo to Alexandria, how to book, fare, schedule, etc.

Thanking everybody in advance who can assist.

Steve_YYZ
Canuck_at_Canada_eh is offline  
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May 19th, 2013, 05:33 PM
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I suggest you contact Debbie of Casual Cairo Detours (http://www.casualcairodetours.com/). She can help you plan your time so that you see the major sites and get to Alexandria in time for the beginning of your adventure.

She posts here regularly as Casual_Cairo.
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May 20th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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Sounds like a great adventure!

For train info see http://seat61.com/Egypt.htm

I explored Cairo on my own, but that was in 2000. I assume you want to see the pyramids? (I was underwhelmed, but most people love them.) Also, the museum, a mosque or two, the market, and I really enjoyed the Coptic quarter. I got around on foot and by taxi.
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May 20th, 2013, 07:45 AM
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thursdaysd - Iknow what you mean about Giza being underwhelming. It's too bad you didn't plan to take time to see Sakkara and Dashure first. When you see them first and get some information about how the process of building pyramids progressed over the years, it does make Giza a bit more interesting, but better than that, you don't feel like they are ALL THERE IS to pyramids. Usually our clients are so happy they saw the other two fields first, giving them the chance to feel as if they didn't need to spend so much time in Giza by the end - therby also avoiding the worst of the pyramid touts.

[email protected] - i'm interested in what you are doing, but don't understand if you have to bring your own scooter or do they provide one? If you have to bring one, how do you do that? I hope they provide them. If you have a scooter to transport, moving via the train will be more difficult. I dare say impossible.
If not, then taking the train up to Alex is real easy. It costs about $10 - maybe more by next fall, but shouldn't be too much more. If the trains are terribly unreliable you can take a bus or hire a car to drive you instead. Right now they are only moderately unreliable and since you don't have to be there at a certain time, you should be OK.
You can buy your ticket in advance in Egypt, or worse case get on the train, hope for an empty seat and just pay a bit more when the porter comes around to collect tickets. They won't toss you off the train and they don't check for tickets in advance. - well, the little man that helps you on and off the train may ask, but you never have to show him your ticket. He won't stop you from getting on.

The web site given above might have current info. Compare it to this site - http://www.touregypt.net/train.htm

Here is another one that is supposed to let you buy your ticket on line. I don't know how well or IF it works, but you might check it out. I buy my tickets here.
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May 20th, 2013, 05:34 PM
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Thanks for the advice everybody.

Casual_Cairo.... We have the option of bringing our own scooters or renting one there (they will arrange everything). As I'm flying in from Canada, the return cost of shipping my scooter, plus the hassle of draining/flushing the fuel system, oil, etc for each shipment makes it silly not to rent. If I had the scooter, I wouldn't need the train at all as I'd just ride up to Alex. However for the CEC tour, I'm picking up the group and scooter in Alexandria. If I flew in on Nov 7th, they'd pick me up at Cairo airport with transportation to Alex, but I want to have the extra days to explore, so I'm on my own.
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May 21st, 2013, 11:08 AM
  #6
 
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You would be more than brave to ride up to Alex on your own. I think doing the relay with all the others will be much safer and more doable. How exciting though. I hope you have a great time.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 12:47 AM
  #7
 
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Hi,

I assume your application has been accepted and you have paid for the Challenge.

I received an e-mail accepting my application. The bank accounts into which payment has to be made in full in 5 days has names which does not relate to this Challenge.

I am therefore a bit hesitant to make electronic bank tranfers into a bank account which sounds fishy!

Please advise on your experience. I am so scared that it might be a scam account! We have so much of that happening in South Africa... better being careful than sorry later!

If all is legit I might also want to arrive a bit earlier and look around before atarting at Alexandria.

I am from near Cape Town in South Africa and will also be renting a scooter. I normally tour on a BMW 1200RT.
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Jun 7th, 2013, 06:16 AM
  #8
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Hi Peer: I'm "Stephen" from Canada on the CEC group. I transferred my funds thru the USA bank and had no issue or trouble at all. I had to take a guess on how much the banks would charge in service charges and ended up $5 short, but I can pay that when I get there. Omar confirmed the receipt of my funds.
I'm lucky in that one of the riders from CEC 2012 lives here in Toronto and I was able to talk to him and get some first-hand information based on his trip in 2012. So no worries at all.
I've got my flights booked and arrive around 6:00 am in Cairo on Nov 3. Managed to get a direct, non-stop flight which is why I booked early. Didn't want to end up wasting a lot of transfer time somewhere in Europe.
See you in Alex and let's enjoy CEC 2013. This is going to be an adventure!!
Steve
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Jun 8th, 2013, 03:51 AM
  #9
 
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EXCELLENT!
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