By bus from Cairo via Taba to Eilat

On Saturday September 5 we left Cairo. The idea was to take the bus to Taba, which next to Eilat, and a border crossing. From there you can walk over the border and take a taxi into Eilat. As we've read that the buses were somewhat unreliable, we were prepared, but it seems what happened to us beat all records.

The hostel had offered to buy the tickets for us. Perhaps at a 30% margin in their favor. We paid 100 Egyptian pounds (about 26 NZD) per person. But later Ida read that tickets were 70 Egyptian pounds. Not sure if that was a current price or not. Anyway, it saved us some hassle.

Unfortunately when giving directions to the bus station, they pointed us in the wrong direction. Left instead of right. So in the morning heat we had to walk a considerably longer distance, with all our luggage, than anticipated. Asking directions didn't always work, but in the end a few helpful Egyptians got us in the right direction. We arrived at the bus just after it should have left, but luckily it took a bit longer to leave. And luckily it was airconditioned. The sweat was just dripping from our faces. The kids were relieved by being in a modern bus. Somewhere after crossing the Suez canal (you go underneath it unfortunately), the bus stopped, and the driver (it wasn't my intention to capture him) had to relieve himself.

He went back to his seat, and rested with this head down on his arms on the steering wheel. We didn't think much of that at the time, and the journey continued. We really got into the Sinai desert. Taken from the window:

About perhaps 1.5 hour after our stop, the driver collapsed, having stopped the bus first fortunately. We had read about buses breaking down, but not about driver break-down. Probably the lack of water, because of the Ramadan, had taken its toll. Passengers gave the driver water and juice. Finally a passenger drove us a little bit further where there was a checkpoint and some kind of first aid post with an ambulance.

We were really in the middle of nowhere there.

And didn't really want to stay there either.

After a short while a second bus came, and we had to transfer into this one. No airco anymore.

After carrying all our luggage into the second bus, we drove on. This time with an official driver I think. After 5 minutes the bus broke down though so we all had to go out again. Our original bus arrived soon, with the driver laying horizontally across four seats. As we couldn't use the front entrance, we had to use the back-one. No idea why we had to transfer to the second bus in the first place.

You wouldn't believe it, but we had to transfer a fourth time after a while. Four different buses, three drivers, one journey. But we finally made it to Taba: