Stage 3: Ras Ghareb to El Gouna
Not a great sleep; too many ‘town’ noises and political(?) exhortations at weird hours. Call to morning prayers a good signal that it’s time to stir. Our first ‘camp’ breakfast and it was all it was cracked up to be; solid and sticking to the ribs. Away at 7:00 and then 5 km backtracking through town to get back to the coastal highway, turn left and a clear shot of 70 km to lunch. Road surface generally good, and very good time made due to blessed tailwinds today.
Landscape remains coastal plain but with Red Sea mountains an imposing wall on our right. Am pretty sure I saw an angled diamond drilling mast in the foothills at one point; mineral exploration? The sea itself a brilliant turquoise.
Saw our first camels!
Then more winds in the afternoon, crossing and gusting for first hour, but then luckily reverting to tailwinds. Made it into El Gouna camp (relatively flash) a little after 2:00 pm. Which was a very good thing, as it’s always a different proposition erecting tent for first time in earnest. Note to self; will have to re-pack daily bag such that sleeping bag and pad, and tent, go in last. Last in, First out.
This riding group is comprised of 19 full-tour and 4 ‘sectional’ riders. People here from Brazil, USA, Canada (and China), England, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. We are also joined by Ashraf, an Egyptian ‘roadie’ who apparently cycles the Egypt portion every year. I wouldn’t want to guess at average age, but the median is probably in the 50s. Not yet confirmed, but I suspect I’m the oldest.
We have a significant support team from TDA; I believe some are here only for the Cairo to Khartoum section, but I’m not sure on that. We’ve also two good Egyptian ‘local’ support guys who are always ready to assist.
And that’s all from El Gouna.