18. Egypt and Home

May 6, 2010 - Cape Town, South Africa

Faithful travel friends, this last episode of our journey comes embarrassingly late and accompanied by guilty apologies . The humble pie will be eaten throughout this installment but let me get onto updating you

So, you have been stranded since we were about to summit Mt. Sinai. Let us take you home....

We were picked up from our Dahab oasis on the Red Sea at midnight and journeyed for 2 hours with 10 other sleepy tourists til we reached the bustling foothills of the holy mount. Not knowing quite what we were embarking on we joined the throng of headlamps in formation trekking or 'camelling' upwards. It was such a thrilling experience to share with the ±350 pilgrims. 3 hours later at 5am we summited, chilly in the middle of the desert, (a seemingly contradicting experience). We sat on a boulder, a lucky spot facing the hints of morning light. We tried to keep warm as we  read from the bible and pondered what it must have been like for Moses. We shared our awe and our spot on the rock with a swedish couple. At 5am the sun rose with such speed and brilliance that we were silenced. The scenery around was not at all what I had expected. My mind had interpreted the biblical story so differently. My minds eye had seen a flat and vast desert landscape with one solitary peak being Mount Sinai. You will have to check the photos to see what the landscape actually is.


All too soon the sun started to bake us and we began the hurried descent not forgetting to pose dramatically imitating our Chinese inspirations. You might have had to be there to catch the full effect of that comment.


Our minibus would leave again at 11am from the bottom which gave us time for a short look at the monastery built around the 'burning bush' where God spoke to Moses and asked him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the promise land. Talk about the Word coming alive.

It was with heavy eyes that we boarded the minibus back to Dahab and it hardly took the rumbles of the engine to lull us to sleep again.


We collected our bags (how many times have we let them out of our sight now?) and caught a ride with a 'cousins cousin' of the hotel manager in a bakkie. What an odd ride. There was no one on the road but he hooted every few meters almost as punctuation to his sentences. Blake and I were careful not to exchange glances, I think the resulting giggles would have been hard to contain.

We then caught a short bus into Sharm el Sheik and once there caught 1 bus connection into Sohag. At one of our stops in the middle of the night we had to ask to get our sleeping bags out of the hold as we were freezing so thoroughly. We hardly heard the mocking laughter over our chattering teeth!

Moheb came to pick us up at 7am surprised to find us in the local roadside cafe enjoying foul. Tourists we are not!


Then followed the most amazing 2 days yet. We ate the most scrumptious food made by Mohebs mom. We were so stuffed but unable to refuse any offers for fear of missing out on a taste sensation. We were enveloped into the household and family so thoroughly it was weird to think we had only just met them all. The lifestyle in their household (as like so many others in Egypt) suited us well. We woke up around 9am, had a leisurely breakfast then said farewell to Moheb who had to go to work. We then went for a walk along the Nile and went for coffee then came back for some lunch and a siesta. Moheb comes home around 6ish, we have a siesta then people come to visit around 10pm. We go to sleep around 1am. It feels so festive and almost scandalous. I loved it! This was Egypt at it's finest...in the Abedeer home – the epitome of hospitality!


We left with sad hearts but full of promises to return again. We trained to Cairo and took a taxi to Maadi where Magdi and Annelise (friends of Blake's from his time spent there in 2005) have a hospitality flat. They generously welcomed us and gave us lifesaving phrases to help us around town. We then started a few days of typically touristy things. We visited the pyramids and the Sphinx, the markets, the museums and scary perfumeries where we were lucky to get out alive. We met up with Jane (who lives in Wellington and was conveniently on a buying trip to stock up wares for her shop, Arabesque – check out the link!)and bought some jewellery and took a faluka ride on the Nile. We bought Bizze to appease the aunties back home and gifts for the nieces. We went for a night to Wadi Natrun where Blake lived and our romance first blossomed. This special time in Cairo was full and vivid. We finally headed home arriving in the morning of the 20th of January. The flight was one of the most harrowing legs yet. The man across from us on Egypt Air snored loudly throughout takeoff (is that even possible?) and the pervasive smell of alcohol hung in the air. Once leveled off, the snoring man started coughing and finally spewed and vomited up all over the floor next to us. The gag reflex was spontaneous and unfortunately his discomfort did not end there. A man behind us began hucking up some loud lougies spitting them some distance into what we hoped was a container or tissue of sorts. Nausea was all around and we prayed for the 8 hour flight to pass quickly. It was with relief that we stepped out of the infective cesspool of the passenger hold and into fresh South African air. AAAAH, the Tucker Clan were lavish in their welcome and it is good to be home!

We finally arrived back at our starting point in Cape Town on the 1st of February 2010.

Cape to Cairo was completed as promised in exactly 6 months!


Settling back into Cape Town life has taken some time. Our view of life and what we want from it has been altered somewhat. We cannot act as though we have been unaffected by what we have seen.

We do not want to be reclaimed by the frenetic activity that characterized our life BC2C (before Cape to Cairo). We long to live intentionally and proactively. We want to taste, to savour and to live deeply in all that our Creator puts before us.


3 months back and this is what we look like....

We are living with our (Rachel's) parents retaining the nature of backpacking – community living

We have just purchased a motorbike – public transport in Uganda could take off here in SA

Blake is starting his own business, inspired by the potential and opportunities seen throughout Africa.

Rachel has an interview for a job that would be a dream come true

And we are loving connecting with friends and family again.


We would love to do a slide show for any who would like one

please let us know if you would like to come and we'll email you details.


This will be our last entry

Any embellishments and stories will be put into our book (Insha Allah)

You have all added so much to our trip

We never felt unaccompanied

Thank you for that


Lots of love

The travelled Tucker



May 6, 2010
Dear Tuckers,
Thank you so much for the final update!! Have been really wondering how you were doing and what you were up to!!! Indeed what a fantastic thing you did, you really followed your dream and just let it come over you and let it change your mindset. I hope your workdreams come true also.
Big digital hugs,
May 6, 2010
You have consolidated this story beautifully and rounded it off so that it forms a whole. I'm so glad I've seen the slide show - I'll never get sick of it. Those Abadeers should be visited again hey. I love the last few comments about the air trip home - they had me rolling around laughing. There's magic about how you express things. With love... lots.
May 23, 2010
Hi Guys

I have some nice pics of the two of you from the Wadi Halfa journey we shared :) If you let me know where I can email them, I shall duly oblige.

Hope you guys are keeping well. The remainder of your trip sounded amazing.

- Rich
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