A group of Aussie riders recommends the fifth annual Cross Egypt Challenge as a safe way to see an amazing but dangerous country.
Riders Davo Batty, Bill van Kesteren, Doug Marshall, Jacinta Ryan, Bill Ryan and David Marshall say they will be returning for future tours because the itinerary changes each year.
“Folks don’t be afraid to take this journey in Egypt,” says Bill. “Every grain of sand has a story, Moses lived here, Jesus lived here and Mohammed also. Napoleon and Alexander the Great invaded. Now I have travelled its road and placed my fingers in the hieroglyphics that Ramses the second had carved for him 3500 years ago.”
The nine-day Cross Egypt Challenge for motorcycle and scooter rally and is the only organised cross-country event of its kind in the region and combines the best of adventure travel and extreme sport to promote Egyptian tourism, he says.
Fees this year were $US1700 for riders and $1575 for passengers plus bike rental. A Honda Hornet 600cc cost you $US850, or $US750 for a Yamaha TTRE 600cc, or $US400 for a Sym 150cc automatic scooter. Fees for 2015 have not yet been announced.
“No security issues came our way,” says Bill. “The risks we could manage was the way we rode our bikes in an environment the locals see as normal and we see as confronting. The Cairo traffic had an ability to eat you up. Freeway off ramps peeling off left and right with no apparent signs or logic.
“The Cross Egypt Challenge remains one of the most professional groups we have had the pleasure to deal with. Egypt is safe but motorbikes are not, everyone should see Egypt and this is a great way to do it.”
He recommends the tour, saying “it was hard, it was fun, it is a challenge”.
For 2015, the tour company is adding nine locations. Each year is different and pre-registration has already opened.
“Each season of the Challenge introduces a new route throughout the most famous spots of Egypt, a track that nobody ever thought would be done on motorcycles or scooters,” he says.
The challenge started in 2011 and included a nine-day ride from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the north of Egypt to the temple of Abu Simbel, on the southern borders of Egypt with a total distance of more than 1700km.
In 2012 and 2013, the distance was increased to 2400km with different attractions added each year and this year it increased to 2950km including crossings of the Egyptian eastern and western deserts, ending at the Great Pyramids of Giza.