Shortly after leaving Rome we contacted the container ship company to confirm our booking, but were told that our ship’s scheduled sailing date had been delayed by several days. We did not want to get behind an already relatively tight schedule at such an early stage and were increasingly concerned that the Israeli authorities might insist on stamping our passports (which would mean we would need new passports before we could enter Sudan) and so decided to change our plans by cancelling the ship booking and instead taking a flight from Italy to Sharm El Sheikh.

We’d been reluctant to take any flights during the trip because to do so might mean losing some of the continuity of a journey by land and sea, but in the circumstances it seemed the best thing to do. We spent a very late night packaging the bikes ready to fly and fortunately Egyptair took our bikes and gear without excess charge and all the kit arrived in Egypt undamaged.

From Sharm El Sheikh we hoped it would be straightforward to continue on our original route plan by taking the short boat ride to Hurghada and then riding down Egypt. But the best laid plans…. The boat to Hurghada was “not working” and it was difficult to get much sense of whether/when it would work again.

So with another change of plan, we took a taxi to Cairo, which is where we are now.

All these changes have actually worked out quite well because it means we should be able to do the ‘classic’ Cairo to Cape Town route. We now just need to decide on our route down Egypt – east coast, Nile or western desert. Hmmm, decisions, decisions…