Sunday, May 13, 2007

On to Cooler Pastures

Saturday- 13.2 miles- 1:44:00 (last 3 miles at "strong" effort)

Well I am back at the north camp base in the land where some water actually exists and temps are a bit cooler. The air has some humidity and it cools off to below 90 at night! Yippee. It is a bigger base, but has 0% hills and is blacktop though. Anyway I am back after the 7 hour bus ride through the Sinai. I got to see some interesting terrain...some of which looked like southern Utah with red/rust colored rock formations and crumbling mountains. The road was very curvy snaking through the mountains.


Call me a biased elitist American, but Egypt has a long way to go. 3rd world really is a different world. On the drive at any point looking out the window no matter how many miles away from any kind of civilization you can see trash. Not just a stray soda can or piece of paper, but plastic as far as the eye can see. Blown for hundreds of miles tumbling along and piled into every crack and crevasse in the mountains and up against rocks. Having toured an open pit landfill when I took an Ecology class...I can honestly say the entire Sinai looks like a land fill. The world is in serious trouble due to what man has done.

We stopped for a rest stop mid-way on the drive at a town along the Sea where tourist stop at a restaurant and outside it locals had their two camels sitting there. The entrepreneur spirit being high, the camels owner asked us to ride the camel for a dollar. Nasty looking beast, but what the guy did as I waited for all to re-board our bus absolutely amazed me. He walked over to the camel and proceeded to tear a cardboard box into 5 inch by 5-6 inch pieces and feed it to the camel. Said camel laid there and ate the pieces one by one like it was lettuce. Mind boggling. Maybe they have got a great stomach but eating cardboard printed with logos and ink can not be good for an animal.

Third bash.... 10 days a go three of my friends were making the bus trip from south to north like I just took and their bus happened to come upon an Egyptian bus that had just wrecked going around a corner. My Friends being Army EMT's immediately de-boarded and began helping the Vitim's of the wreck; which was evidently awful. 8 immediately dead, 6 with traumatic amputations and on their way to dying, one guy missing his bottom jaw, ect. As they were stopped along the road other Egyptians stopped at the wreck site too. None were helping, and in fact, a few were robbing the bodies of the dead of their possessions as they laid there still warm. Just a disturbing thing to hear about. Honestly if it was dead Americans lying there then maybe I could see them robbing the dead. But, these people were their fellow Egyptians. What the hell kind of thinking is that.


JohnF said...

I saw a similar trash problem in India. So many plastic bottles thrown to the side of the road everywhere. Even worse near any type of town. It will probabbly get worse before it gets better.

Sarah said...

Man, that's incredible what your friends saw at the bus wreck. Honestly, I can't even imagine...

As for the garbage, we have a good friend who is living in China for awhile and, most days, it's impossible to run or even walk much outside because the air pollution is SO bad. Not like ANYTHING in the U.S. - dark, gray, horrible, dirty air. I can't believe what people are doing!

So many of these experiences must be making you want to get home even more...


Jack said...

I was in Egypt in 1989 with the army, it sounds like not much has changed over the years. Cairo amazed me, so much luxury and so much poverty right next to each other on the same street.

WynnMan said...

Wow! that's a lot of baggage to deal with man. I applaud your courage. Thanks for the kind words regarding the race. It didn't go the way I wanted, typical inexperience of a greenhorn. I know that time could have been shaved another 20 minutes with better pacing. Try it again next year, hopefully wiser. Looks like your training is going steady and upward!! great to see.

take care,


Michael said...

Sad about the corpse pillagers. Those perpetrators are in a sorry state.
I swam at Herb's Beach (here in the Red Sea) the other day and there was a layer of oil on the surface. I had a hard time getting it off my body. Some tourists from the West Indies came here and said that really struck them--how much fuel the boats release in the water. They say it's a $10K fine in the US.
You know what the soldiers say about the plastic bags in the desert--they're the national flower :-).