A Morning at the Pyramids, and Problems with Visas for Sudan

Post No.5 — Looking back 40 years to 22 January 1981

We had been split into teams of three for each day’s cooking and dishwashing duties so I was first-up for this on day one, working with an American married couple, Pat & Jeannie. The effect seemed to me somewhat like going into a stranger’s kitchen and getting in between a couple who knew how each other worked, and simply getting in their way! {:-)

The Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza. Not many sites will be better known than these, anywhere in the world. [Copyright image, 1981.]
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First Impressions of Cairo and the Pyramids

Post No. 4 — Looking back forty-years to 21 January 1981

During my intended six months in Africa, I had planned to join two truck-based groups of fellow overlanders because that was the only realistic way to cover the huge distances I hoped to do. And to this end, I spent my first night in Egypt in a very modest (read ‘extremely basic’) hotel in Cairo, ready to meet some fellow vagrants the following day.

A typical side street. [Copyright image, 1981.]
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Unpleasant Customs (Officers) in Alexandria!

Post No. 3 — Looking back forty-years to 20 January 1981

The ferry across the Mediterranean from Greece to Egypt took just under 36 hours and we arrived shortly after daybreak.

My new-found friend Tom McDade switched from being a laid-back English driving instructor on an adventurous holiday with his Land Rover in Egypt to something more like one of Rommel’s panzer tank drivers in a bad mood when the customs men in Alexandria corruptly tried to rip us off. In this photo, we had paused on the Delta Road, from Alex’ to Cairo, pleased to have evaded a bit of blackmail! {:-) [Copyright image.]
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Crossing Europe by Train to get to Africa!

Post No. 2 — Looking back forty-years to 19 January 1981

My planned six-month backpacking trip through Africa, back in 1981, had one small disadvantage: At 107 pounds (48.5kg) the backpack itself was a challenge! (An insight into what it contained may be seen in my previous post — see the foot of this page.)

I was young and fit, so carrying it wasn’t really the problem — although I certainly wasn’t planning on running any marathons with it — the actual challenge was with baggage limitations on aeroplanes. The cost, plus a necessary extra bag to split the load, was out of the question.

It was clear from the outset that my plans had to allow for getting to and from Africa without flying, and given that my initial destination had to be Cairo, this would be no easy feat.

The answer proved to be crossing the English Channel to Ostend by ferry, catching the Tauern Express train from there to Munich, take a brief break to see the city, catch the Hellas Express train from Munich to Athens, and again take a brief break to see the city.

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Backpacking Across Africa 40 Years Ago

Post No. 1 — Looking back forty-years to 18 January 1981

From the age of perhaps six or seven, I was besotted with wildlife television programmes — all in black & white back then in the early 1960s — by the likes of Armand and Michaela Denis, ‘Look,’ by Sir Peter Scott, and ‘Animal Magic,’ by Johnny Morris. 

Before the trip, my mother told me not to come back with a beard but when she saw it was bright ginger, she was convinced this was our Scottish and Viking ancestries shining through and jokingly forbade me to cut it off! My father was much more pragmatic, He simply wanted to know which one was the chimpanzee. {:-) As for the baby chimp, its parents had almost certainly been killed for ‘bush meat’ and its owner claimed he had ‘rescued’ it, but it wasn’t being adequately cared for — a very common, sad fate. (More on this story in a later post.)
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Acadia Birding Festival 2015 – Day 1

The Acadia Birding Festival is Maine’s premiere bird watching festival and was established in 1998.

Group at Indian Point Blagden Preserve

Group at Indian Point Blagden Preserve

This year, the Festival is from 28-31 May, plus two post-festival trips on 1-2 June, and over these days it visits 27 different birding locations.

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