Automatic translation
EnglishSpanishPortugueseFrenchGermanItalian
Supporters

Motoraid

 

REV'IT!

 

3P Racing

 

ELPA

 

eXTra Products

 

PlanetSim

 

Baja Designs

 

Travel Bookstore

 

NRG

 

Sena

 

Motomax

 

Flipped Horizons

 

Xasou.gr

 

Οικονομική Μακεδονίας

 

Moto Market

 

Cobrra

 

Atlas Panniers

 

Fifth Element

 

ANEK

 

Bikegear

 

Ω2

Home

   Welcome to mad nomad’s adventurous website! This site is about travelling the way I’ve been dreaming of as a child! When I took the decision to make my dream come true, it seemed remote and totally unfamiliar to me. Finally, after two years of profound research and intense preparation, I hit the road!

   On the 14th of April 2007 I set off solo from Thessaloniki, Greece by my small motorcycle (Honda XR 250S), on a journey to four countries, for ten months’ time: Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India. During my trip, however, there were many changes in my schedule, and, finally, I ended up returning to Greece after two years and two and a half months, having covered 73,000 km. (45,361 miles), after travelling to fourteen Asian countries: Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh! This was my journey known as “greece2india“. You will find my trip reports from that time at: http://www.moto.gr/forums/showthread.php?t=38448

 

 

   On July 18th, 2013, we hit the road for an even longer journey! Africa and Middle East are calling us and we are eager to explore those lands! Why do I use the plural form? This time, Christina, the she-mad nomad, was travelling with me for 10 months. Therefore, we were riding two motorcycles of the same type (Honda XR 250), travelling according to my usual recipe: innumerous detours, in order to visit everything interesting, years on the road, to catch the scent of the local societies we are visiting, always guided by the love for People and Nature. Since August 2014, I keep traveling solo, as Christina decided to fly from Zambia back to Greece because of some personal reasons. This is the expedition called “mad about Africa“! You can check out our route on Live Trip Traveller and you can enjoy our reports at the Trip diary section.

  

Real FM 97.8, May 2nd, 2016

   Here is my interview from Egypt by telephone at the broadcast of George Psaltis. It was live on May 2nd, 2016, 9:45 on Real FM 97.8. It is in Greek.

 

      RealFM

 

Egypt: From the Nile to the Red Sea!

   Egypt is infamous amongst overlanders for being one of the most difficult countries to enter on your own vehicle… Since Pharaonic times, Egyptians were famous for their highly advanced bureaucracy, for that era. The state was flourishing thanks to heavy taxes paid by ancient Egyptians and especially by passing caravans. Well, a few millenniums later not much has changed. The bureaucracy is almost the same and the heavy taxes still apply on everybody who wants to access the “gift of the Nile”…

After six and a half hours, I achieved to cross one of the most difficult borders of Africa and of the whole world actually. Time to enjoy the boat trip on Nile's waters...

After six and a half hours, I achieved to cross one of the most difficult borders of Africa and of the whole world actually. Time to enjoy the boat trip on Nile’s waters…

   For six and a half hours I was rushing from office to office in order to get Egyptian number plates for my motorcycle and pay taxes, fees to enter the border post, fees to exit the border post, fees to scan my luggage, fees to check my health (they never did anyway) and whatever else somebody can imagine to suck money our of a traveler… It was the first time I had to get local number plates for Baobabis. I had never spent so long time crossing a border but I was happy in the end. A few years ago, when travelers had to use a three-day ferry-boat crossing to ship their vehicle from Sudan to Egypt, the procedure was much more complicated and expensive.

The Old Bazaar in Aswan

The Old Bazaar in Aswan

   My first stop in Egypt was in Abu Simbel. The first temples I visited in the country, happened to be the most impressive ones! The magnificent structures of Ramses II were carved out of the rocky mountain between 1274 and 1244 BC. In recent times, the artificial Lake Nasser would make the temples disappear. So the whole structures were broken in two thousand pieces weighting between ten and forty tones each! The temples were finally moved to Abu Simbel in 1968.

The magnificent temples of Ramses II were carved out of the rocky mountain between 1274 and 1244 BC. They had to be moved all together to be saved from the artificial Lake Nasser!

The magnificent temples of Ramses II were carved out of the rocky mountain between 1274 and 1244 BC. They had to be moved all together to be saved from the artificial Lake Nasser!

   I was mostly following the Nile River on my way north. I explored the picturesque town of Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Esna and Luxor. I was astonished in every step when I was visiting the ancient Egyptian temples and tombs! Every inch of the monuments is decorated with impressive carvings. I couldn’t stop staring at them and imagine how grand was that civilization, one of the most ancient ones in the world. I was trying to get the age of those monuments in perspective but it’s something beyond our imagination… We are talking about unique monuments created three, four or even five millenniums ago!

The grand Luxor Temple of ancient Thebes was connected to the temples of Karnak by the 3-km-long Avenue of Sphinxes.

The grand Luxor Temple of ancient Thebes was connected to the temples of Karnak by the 3-km-long Avenue of Sphinxes.

   In Luxor I decided to treat myself with an experience of a lifetime… Magic Horizon took me to the skies in a hot-air balloon, just above Nile and the grand monuments of ancient Thebes! It was my first time in a hot-air balloon and it was an unforgettable experience. The flight was so quiet… I didn’t even realize when we took off. I just saw suddenly that the Earth was a few meters below my feet! I was not wearing a helmet or any seat-belt. I was not even sitting actually. I was standing in a basket feeling absolutely free in the middle of the skies!

Magic Horizon took me to the skies in a hot-air balloon, just above Nile and the grand monuments of ancient Thebes!

Magic Horizon took me to the skies in a hot-air balloon, just above Nile and the grand monuments of ancient Thebes!

   I visited Dendara to admire another impressive Pharaonic temple. That’s where my troubles with the Egyptian police started and they wouldn’t end until my last moment in the country, a couple of months later… I was usually treated either as a suspected terrorist or as a V.I.P.. When I had my motorbike parked in Cairo and my helmet locked on it, policemen of the secret service destroyed my Sena Bluetooth intercommunication system because they thought it’s a bomb!!! I spent countless hours in police stations for interrogation but also riding and even walking with a police escort! I never spent so long time with policemen in any other country…

Once again I was suspected as a terrorist... While my helmet was locked on my bike, the

Once again I was suspected as a terrorist… While my helmet was locked on my bike, the “talented” Egyptian policemen of the secret service destroyed my Sena Bluetooth intercommunication system because they thought it’s a bomb!!!

   I reached Cairo after visiting the Monastery of St Anthony, the first Christian monastery established in the world. Cairo got so many interesting neighborhoods, that one week is not enough to explore all of them! Next on my itinerary was atmospheric Alexandria. That was a significant moment for me… I saw again the Mediterranean Sea after two and a half years! Last time I saw it in Morocco. Since then, I crossed the endless deserts and savannahs of Africa, I penetrated its thick jungles, I climbed its mountains, I reached the southernmost point of the continent and finally I was back in the Mediterranean safe and sound! I felt that a huge circle was almost complete…

This dervish was spinning for longer than 20 minutes uninterruptedly while performing amazingly well in the Caravanserai of Al-Ghouri! I was surprised he could stand on his feet after that...

This dervish was spinning for longer than 20 minutes uninterruptedly while performing amazingly well in the Caravanserai of Al-Ghouri! I was surprised he could stand on his feet after that…

   One of the places I was dreaming to visit, despite it was complicated and far out of my way, was the mystical Siwa Oasis! I rode through El Alamein and Marsa Matruh, where I enjoyed my first swim in 2016 in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Siwa Oasis is situated about 300 km (186 miles) off the coast, in the middle of the desert, next to the Libyan border. It’s a remote heaven of peace and quiet. Its palm groves and natural springs were a refuge for desert travellers since ancient times. That’s where Alexander went to seek the famous Oracle of Amun and secure his power, since he was accepted by the priests as son of the god. Shali Lodge offered me a good rest and protection from the heat. Its thick, mud walls of the traditional, luxurious building work miracles! The rest of the time I was cooling down in natural springs staring at the palm trees over my head…

Shali Lodge is made out of really thick walls built with stones, mud and salt. That's the traditional way the indigenous people of Siwa Oasis were keeping their houses cool and it still works wonders!

Shali Lodge is made out of really thick walls built with stones, mud and salt. That’s the traditional way the indigenous people of Siwa Oasis were keeping their houses cool and it still works wonders!

   It was time to begin the hardest and most important mission I had to accomplish in Egypt… I had to cross the Suez Canal and access the Sinai Peninsula, something which is illegal on a motorcycle for some reasons that only the very secret service of Egypt knows! There are a lot of troubles with rebels in North Sinai, where I wouldn’t go anyway. South Sinai, though, is safe and really mesmerizing. It was not only that I wanted to visit that area. I had to visit it in order to continue my trip. There was no other way to get to Middle East! That’s why I was struggling a whole month to secure a special permission to cross the bloody Suez Canal. Finally, it was only because of some amazing local bikers that I was allowed to continue my trip further east…

That's how the Arab Spring started in Egypt. It's a pity it turned out to be fall...

That’s how the Arab Spring started in Egypt. It’s a pity it turned out to be fall…

   A pilgrimage at the historic Greek Orthodox Monastery of St Katherine was required after that success! The friendly monks took me in and I became part of the monastic community for a few days. I climbed to the top of Mt Sinai, where Christians, Muslims and Jews alike believe that God delivered his Ten Commandments to Moses. I was feeling the sacredness of the place in every step and I was very grateful that I was able to be there.

The historic Greek Orthodox Monastery of St Katherine hosts one of the oldest continually functioning monastic communities in the world. It preserves a really precious collection of medieval manuscripts, second only to that of Vatican.

The historic Greek Orthodox Monastery of St Katherine hosts one of the oldest continually functioning monastic communities in the world. It preserves a really precious collection of medieval manuscripts, second only to that of Vatican.

   Some earthly pleasures in the Red Sea were the last things I enjoyed in Egypt. I chose the bohemian, little town of Dahab, which is surrounded by the most amazing underwater seascape I have ever seen! That’s a heaven for divers and snorkelers alike. Dive Urge was the club that took me in and showed me the natural miracles of the area. The bottom of the sea was full of corals and colourful, exotic fish. I was feeling like experiencing the scenes of a documentary!

The northern part of the Red Sea is considered a diving paradise for its corals and its colourful, exotic fish. It's by far the most beautiful underwater seascape I've ever seen!

The northern part of the Red Sea is considered a diving paradise for its corals and its colourful, exotic fish. It’s by far the most beautiful underwater seascape I’ve ever seen!

   After two months and 5,650 km (3,510 miles) in Egypt, I can definitely say that it was worth the effort and the troubles I had. I made lots of friends all around the country, who were helping me on every step. I knew that Egypt is one of the hardest countries in the world to visit on my own vehicle but it’s actually really easy, enjoyable and cheap to visit it by airplane. The security is not an issue anymore in the biggest part of Egypt and there is a vast variety of places to visit: grand, ancient monuments, exotic beaches, mesmerizing deserts, cool oases, the atmospheric Nile and more…

It was in Egypt that I celebrated a thousand mad days on the roads of Africa!

It was in Egypt that I celebrated a thousand mad days on the roads of Africa!

You can check out the map with more photos and reports at: Live Trip Traveller

 

Praktorio FM 104.9, April 14th, 2016

   Here is my live interview from Egypt by telephone at the broadcast “Saga” with Evi Karkiti. It was live on April 14th, 2016, 16:45 on Praktorio FM 104.9 (Athens – Macedonian News Agency). It is in Greek.

 

      Saga-104.9

 

On the road for…
Latest video
Newsletter
Loading...Loading...


Τα βιβλία μου

Κυκλοφόρησε το λεύκωμα με φωτογραφίες από το ταξίδι μου στην Ασία!

 

27 πανσέληνοι στην Ανατολή: χρώματα & εικόνες

27 πανσέληνοι στην Ανατολή: χρώματα & εικόνες   Facebook

Awarded by
Jupiter's Traveller
Instagram

findme