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Friday, June 24, 2011

Run SPOT Run

We got the SPOT GPS device back.

When our van from Luxor to Hurghada returned, Muhammad our tour guide contacted me to let me know they had found it on the bus. More often than not it has been very helpful to have a local cell phone. Muhammad offered to but the SPOT on the next bus from Luxor to Hurghada. He subsequently called me with the name of the bus driver, the bus driver's cell phone number and the bus number. The bus was scheduled to arrive at 12:00 in Hurghada. I set off for the bus station at about 11:30 after my family had already turned in for the night.I was in for an interesting night.

I went to the market and grabbed a Coke Light. If you know me well, you know that I consume several Diet Cokes a day. Coke Light is not Diet Coke. I then set off for the bus station. I asked a local at the Shisha cafe where the bus station was - the hotel had already told me it was nearby - and this man was kind enough to bring me across the street and hail a cab for me. I should have arrived at the bus station several minutes before the scheduled arrival, but the unscrupulous cab driver drove me through the local Souk and tried to charge me a fare higher than the hotel and the guy who hailed the cab for me told me it should cost. I later realized that the cab had driven past the back entrance and went several kilometers further to get me to the other side.

This was the local bus station which few tourist use. It was hopping. There were many people there. buses would come and go and there was a hectic frenzy each time.

I inquired of several people including the ticket agent, some kind of coordinator, and local merchants for any information on the bus from Luxor. They either had no information, or in one case told me it had already arrived and left. I attempted to contact the driver by cell phone but he didn't speak to me or he hung up quickly. I remained at the bus station for the next 40 minutes and met several interesting people. I met a young man who was from Cairo and worked in a restaurant in Hurghada. He was very excited about the revolution. I talked to a very nice shopkeeper for a while. His business has been hurt by the revolution in a economic chain reaction - no tourists - no jobs for locals - no locals traveling.

I finally gave up. walked to the back gate and hailed a cab. Fortuitously, the cab circled the block and on the way bast the front gate, I saw that 2 additional buses had arrived. I asked the cab to wait. I went back into the terminal and found a local that called the driver from my phone. We quickly connected and the SPOT was back in my possession.

I have created a new page on the blog that has the SPOT tracking information.

Let us know how it is working.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad SPOT is back! The bus station sounds exactly the same as the ones I experienced in Africa - without the help of some locals I would have never gotten on a bus - and there is no schedule - when the bus arrives, it gets loaded and takes off