I went to Eastern-Libya in March as a traveler, or tourist, as you like. Entered from Egypt, Salloum border. May be it wasn't the best idea, but I was lying the Egyptian officials to be a journalist because I was supposed to be refused as a private traveler. That time the Egyptian border terminal looked like a refugee camp because a few hundred/thousand African and Asian people who had worked before in Libya were waiting there for documents or transportation back to their homeland and even the passport controller's cabins were full of refugees, women, men and children from Chad, Sudan, Philippines, Bangladesh. They were lying on the floor or gathering outside among the fence of the terminal or dropping stones to each-other. The immigration officier first sent me to the mukhabarat (state intelligence) office because they register the journalists. At this point I was sure to be failed, but surprisingly no press ID was asked from me, just took my passport for 2 minutes, after returned to immigration where they belived me without any document that I finished with mukhabarat and got Egyptian exit stamp which had a key importance in Libya because it was the only evidence of entering legally into the country because of the lack of Libyan entry stamp.
There is a gate between the two countries where they checked my exit stamp and asked me to make a photo together with Egyptian policeman and Libyan rebel soldier who were guarding this gate together. Just right to this there was a room where Libyan rebel authorities were registering the people entering the country. It was full of local Egyptian smugglers and a few foreign journalists and aid workers. There was hurly-burly chaos inside. Also lied the same for Libyan rebels, that I was a journalist, but they were more suspicious than their Egyptian collegues so asked my press ID and my recommendation letter from my embassy what I did not have and they were not interested in my compliments that I was freelancer and refused my entry and sent me back to Egypt, but I was too determined to see the revolution, so I turned right after leaving the room, to Libya, and not left back to Egypt. At the first few seconds I was sure to be arrested and questioned as a spy, but nobody was following me. The rebels in the room did not see where I was turning outside and the soldiers outside did not hear the conversation in the room. They just registered the people in a book, but no entry stamp was given to anybody there, so in Libya I just showed my Egyptian exit to the officials when they questioned me in almost every town. Within a minute I hitch-hiked a car to Msaad the next town in a few kilometers and spent about a week in Libya.
I returned to Egypt on 16 March when Kaddafi occupied Ajdabiyah because I was afraid of an attack directly against Tobruk through the desert road and at the border recognised that all the westerners were thinking the same way as me, because almost everybody left that day. There I met a German tourist too, he was the only not journalist or aid worker who I saw there. The Egyptians did not give me visa at Salloum when I returned just stamped my passport and remarked that I had to buy a visa when leaving the country.
In Libya it was extremely easy to hitch-hike, people were amazingly friendly but sometimes I was taken to the local medjlis - the council which controlls the communities - to be questioned. On 16 March the rebels were very nervous and scared about Kaddafi's advance so they arrested me in Tobruk and I was questioned by general Suleiman Mahmoud who was a generous and wise man and ordered his soldiers to drop me back to Egyptian border.