2005 Time-out Diary
Wandering around Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon



Main Numbers
July 13th - December 19th 2005, 23 weeks / 161 days travelling
Total spend: 50 UK travel, 345 flights, 85 insurance, 1700 cash, 200 careless gprs = 2400 total = 15/day*
* subtract the silly gprs and xmas shopping etc. = nearer 13/day total
* subtract UK and flights = 10.50 daily "away" cost - a bit more than I thought
Stayed in 52 hotels / camps / boats
Took 1300 photos that make up the bulk of the 36Mb website

My time being my own. Bumbling around with minimal planning and just seeing what happens - great fun.
Top spots: Cairo, Siwa Oasis, White Desert, Aswan, Luxor, Dahab, Wadi Rum, Petra, Palmyra, Ugarit, Hama, South Lebanon - in no particular order as they were each very special in their own way.
Other spots: the nowhere-places were very interesting too - especially those in north Egypt and Syria.
Met a lot of really nice people. Helpful, generous and friendly locals and interesting fellow travellers.
Rip-off taxis, unwelcome sexual advances, police attention, hustling, hassling, filmstar syndrome and limited variety of food all bothered me occasionally but it goes with the territory.
In the big scheme of things there weren't any real problems. The occasional stitch-ups, worries and discomforts are what made it interesting.

It's not like a holiday, it's pretty hard work some of the time if you want to make the most of it and keep the costs down. I'm leaner and fitter than I've been for years.
You need to be really up for it, and you need the occasional day off!

Thanks to
My sister Suzi for looking after my UK stuff and loads of general help
My neighbour John for keeping an eye on my house and sorting my mail
Everyone who emailed me with nice comments on the website and news from home

Lessons Learnt
You can do anything you REALLY want to do if you're prepared to take some risks
It's possible to live happily and pretty well on very little money if you're in the right place
It's not possible to live without a decent guitar
Freedom is the best - and it's achievable

to be continued . . . April 2006 or so . . . .