Exactly two years ago we were slogging our way through Sudan’s Nubian desert on our way to Egypt. Looking back, my most vivid Egypt memories are of the wacky sculptures of the White Desert, the amazing temples at Luxor and the endless supply of hot water that poured out of the taps in our hotel in Aswan.
Actually, it’s the endless supply of water that I most remember. Every time I turned the taps, water came gushing out of the spigot. There were no pumps to push. I didn’t have to trek down to a river with a bucket to fetch my bath water. There was no question of filling up my bottles with stagnate water stored in a rusty oil drum. And I definitely wouldn’t have to dig in a dry river bed to quench my thirst.
Anyone who cycles Africa will never again take the availability of water for granted.
Reaching Egypt meant a return to the easy life. Sure there was poverty, but nobody was visibly starving. Food was plentiful, the state supplied water and the locals tried to rip off the tourists. It was a real change from the rest of Africa.