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  #1  
Old 5 May 2008
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siwa - bacharriya, road condition?

hello
I have a question about the road between siwa and bacharriya. We have driven the road last summer and it wasn't that good. But we saw that they have ever worked on it, to get the road better. Is there somebody who has driven the road this spring?? how was the road condition?? Still parts with soft sand??

brend
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Old 5 May 2008
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The roadworks are markedly turning the conditions from bad to worse...

Having driven 2400 kms in the Gilf and the Sand Sea without trouble, we spent about two hours getting unstuck on the 'road' this March. It pays to go on that road every five years or so just to know why you don't want to give it another try for the next five
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Andras - I'll be driving down that road in November from Siwa. Is it still easy enough to get the permit/permission or should I get the man from the Tourist Info place to help?
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Old 6 May 2008
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Originally Posted by onlyMark View Post
Andras - I'll be driving down that road in November from Siwa. Is it still easy enough to get the permit/permission or should I get the man from the Tourist Info place to help?
Process looks pretty straight forward - you pay, you get the permits. However probably it's worth the few extra pounds to have somebody stand in line for you and fill the innumerable endless forms. It took about two hours in an afternoon to get everything in order.

The 'road' is as dismal as ever, so plan a full day. The good news is that there are fewer checkpoints (about 5-6), and each took no more than 2-3 minutes, a marked improvement over the half hour times twelve some years ago.
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Old 6 May 2008
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Thanks for the answer.
I've driven down it half a dozen or more times - but not since 2001(?). Normally I got someone to sort out the stuff in Siwa for me while I relaxed at Bir Wahid. I'll probably do the same again this time then.

I wouldn't expect the road to be any different, despite supposed improvements, and apart from one time losing second gear about 10km outside Siwa and having to go back, I've always "budgeted" a full day to get across to Ahmeds Camp in Bahariya.

Thanks again.
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Old 6 May 2008
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The 'road' is definitely much worse than it had been in '01. The stretch between the half-way point and Baharya is dismal. The tarmac is mostly undriveable, broken into disjoined blocks of asphalt separated by deep ruts, but the bypasses along the sides are also horribly corrugated.

Beyond the half-way point, there are surprising few km stretches of excellent new tarmac, separated by dozens of kilometres of prepared new foundation that mostly covers the old road, but is now so corrugated that it is better to go in the desert along the side. In the sandy bits they have cleverly built up high gravel barriers along both sides of the road, which means that the channel inside is now filled with a good metre of liquid sand.... Have fun
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Thanks again.
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