Nov 21 12

C2C, join the dots


Into Egypt

So we had been up to Egypt, well Wadi Halfa, Lake Nasser.  It would be easier to turn for home.  Not understanding why it’s necessary for a 200% deposit on the value of the vehicle to visit a country, the easiest option was to return home.  In addition, the Muslim brotherhood and Mr Morsi were still trying to ‘stabilise’ a disgruntled population.  But no …

We made our way back from Khartoum to Nairobi, driving through some spectacular places, previously untraveled by us.  There are some tales that remain untold, some adventures yet to be described, but the focus of this blog is the C2C trip and the rhino’s.  And so arriving back in Nairobi, it was good to see the Sharpe family again and to catch up with other folk we’d met on the way.  We then needed to arrange our flight into Egypt and complete the road trip as undertaken, all be it in another vehicle.  We’d been offered a free BMW rental from our friend we’d met in Dongola for our stay in Egypt, but we did not feel comfortable with this level of generosity.

Back in Nairobi, we had the opportunity to meet with Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and present a formal document outlining the benefits of using the Rhino Rescue Project (RRP).  With KWS owning all the rhino in their country, it is critical that they sanction and approve all processes for their rhinos, whether the private land owners would like the treatment or not.  We have been continually well received by conservation champions throughout East Africa, and most encouraged by the efforts that they have in place.  There are pockets where the rhino is in good hands, and these areas may even be extended in the future.  With the ball in motion, East African Conservationists will soon have access to the best technology in Rhino Conservation.

Egypt air flies from Nairobi at 04h00, perhaps to beat the traffic, and booking a package seemed the most economical way in.  Arriving in Cairo, we would head south to Lake Nasser and Wadi Halfa, to complete our road trip.  Although this was not plan A, it was pretty emotional arriving in Cairo.  The culmination of 12 months worth of travelling, and ages of planning and dreaming.  I had always been aware of Deva and Paramal’s song:

‘we stood at the gateless gate

too drunk on love to hesitate

to the winds we cast our fate

and the remnants of our fear

we took a deep breath and we leapt

and we awoke as if we had never slept

tears of gratitude we wept

we were welcome here


so bring your laughter and bring your tears

your busy lives and your careers

and bring the pain you carried for years

all is welcome here

freedom is not so far away

and there is only one price we have to pay

live our dreams ‘til they fade away

and let them go’

Ahmed & Nicolai sharing some thoughts

On the way though we thought it best to go past King Tut and pay him and his mates some respect.  5000 years old plus, it was moving to see the start of civilization as we know it altogether at the Cairo museum.  Ahmed and his wife Zeze were our guides, and wow they were fantastic.  For Danica and Nicolai, they made the museum come alive.  The history and characters were suddenly real.  Hieroglyphics became Danica’s focus, and she spent some time learning many of the characters and phrases.  We were ushered as the last ones at the museum, out.    

Then we went to see some 3 dimensional triangles in the sand.  Big stones, 3 tons each piled on top of each other, 230m long and 140m high, it is estimated that the largest pyramid, that of Cheops took 30 years to build, all 2 300 000 blocks.  Then there was a wolf-shaped creature with a pharaohs face, perhaps an imitation of Ramses the second.  French soldiers did not like the figurine much and shot the nose off, hmm.






5000 year old masterpiece, no sails

The Sun Boat museum is at the base of the south face of the Cheops Pyramid where five boat pits were discovered in 1982.  The boat on display was painstakingly reassembled over 14 years and is an amazing 43m long, held together with sycamore pegs and rope.  The exact purpose of these buried boats is not clear, however it is thought to have been a means of travelling to the afterlife. 

The old part of Cairo had some secrets to show us, and besides the oldest synagogue in Egypt, also had the Church of Saint Georgius to see.

“An Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream,

St Georgius

saying ‘arise take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt and stay there until I bring word: for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him’” (Matthew 2:13) and so it was.  The church Saint Georgius was the site where the Holy Family fled and sought refuge from Herod.  This historical church was beautifully restored in the 11th century and is found in this old part of Cairo, which itself is stuck in a time warp.  The colourful people that dot the old streets and cafés are entertaining as they go about of their daily business. 

We needed to move south to connect the dots and complete the road trip of our C2C journey and our next stopover was Aswan.  We were feeling quite emotional as we approached Aswan, barely 100 kilometres to go, and our mission and goal was complete.  It felt surreal that we were on the verge of achieving our goal.  The travelling party was weary though. The trip had been harder than we had imagined, but we were almost, almost there…

Lake Nasser was quite a feat.  Being part of Aswan, built by the British in 1902, Lake Nasser is the world’s largest reservoir. 

Hooray !

The dam wall is a feat of engineering, being 111m high, 3830m long and 980m wide at its base and 40m at its top. Perhaps it was fitting?  We too achieved our great quest. 

To all you rhinos that have been massacred by gutless poachers, we remember you.  The human race has failed you.  We cannot reverse the needless blood that has been spilt, but we pray, hope and believe that your passing has not been in vain.  As custodians of this earth, we need to take a stand, the time is now.


14 Responses to C2C, join the dots

  1. Nicky Fulcher says:

    Hooray Celeste! What a remarkable journey you and your family have made…we miss you lots though :) Have a safe trip home!!

  2. Brad McDermott says:

    CONGRATULATIONS on completing C2C!!!!

  3. Roger says:

    Well done!! What is the plan now? When are you due back?

  4. Lucia Costa says:

    Yay you did it! What an adeventure and inspiration. I have been an avid follower of your blog and its been quite something to read and follow. Well done. I hope to hear your stories someday.

  5. Tally Dickinson says:

    Wow, congratulations!!! What an epic journey for the rhinos, what wonderful memories for you.

  6. Ilona says:

    C2C Done!!!!!!! Wherever next? West Africa….. well, why not, they have animals and needs too. Let me know when you are back in SA!

  7. christopher says:

    Come home, I am missing our luncheons

  8. Pauline says:

    Well done, are you ready for some home comforts yet? Btw happy birthday xx

  9. dominique says:

    Congratulations! Amazing team with lots of courage, intrepid travellers and gatherers of wonderful stories and information. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME?? Miss you, love and hugs, Dominique and family

  10. colin says:

    Marcello,and family it has been an amazing journey. What was your best highlight and challenge on this journey? When are you guys back in SA?

  11. Pauline says:

    If you are home and free dec 19th, pls can you join whatever flying ants are free for supper??

  12. Rob Moody says:

    Dear Marcelo, Celeste, Danica and Nicolai,

    well done and congratulations, we are so proud of you and incredibly relieved that the epic journey was completed safely.
    looking at the pictures of your family one year ago and amazed how they have all changed and grown up by so much. lots of love. Rob and the girls

  13. Roger says:

    Where are you guys? Why so quiet?

  14. Mike Braun says:

    We salute you as a family! you guys are awesome to have undertaken and succesfully completed your mission.

    I must apologise for the lull in comms towards end of year but we were under immense preasure on our Africa projects and then we travelled as a family to Moz without comms for a change.

    I truly hope the trip fulfilled your wildest expectations and left you all with a sense of achievement firslty but also a sense of hope for the countries you ventured into not so much politically but for the wildlife and specifically the Rhino’s for which you all have such a great passion.

    Well done and we will chat soon. (on my return from Mz) Mike, Iva & the Girls.

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