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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 25 Sep 2010
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Siwa to Bahariya

Hi,

Any new news on the road conditions from Siwa to Bahirya for motorcycles?

glgraham
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Old 27 Sep 2010
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Heve not been on that road since '08, then more than half of it was still in a dismal state, with so many potholes and corrugation that the only driveable alternative was beside the road, but with a bike you will have trouble with the softer places.

On the stretch between Siwa and the half-way point, road construction was evident, they built a new embankment, with short stretches of perfect tarmac alternating with long stretches of unsurfaced new road, that was already well in an advanced state of corrugation. With the high embankment, there is no escape, unless you want to go beside it in the desert all the way. There has been some construction going on since, but as far as I know not too much changed. Anybody passed through recently ?

Out at about 60 Km from Siwa, much of the road is covered with deep liquid sand, can be very nasty, even if it is just a couple of hundred metres.

Again, no services but plenty of checkpoints, permits necessary, obtaibable in Siwa/Baharyia (don't even attempt trying yourself, ask your local hotel to help).

All in all, it is not a road I would reccommend for a solo bike. It is doable, but no fun at all.
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Last edited by andrasz; 27 Sep 2010 at 21:34.
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  #3  
Old 27 Sep 2010
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April 2010

Heh,

We went Siwa to Bahareya in April this year and will do the opposite in November. In April a massive chunk of the Siwa side was virtually perfect tarmac, well over 100km, probably closer to 200km. I'll have to check my points.

Just when you start to think 'this is boring', the road gets bumpy then disappears into the sand. Personally wouldn't fancy that bit alone on a heavy bike with road biased tyres, but if you're competent with half decent tyres, it would be fairly straigt forward to follow a local when (if?) they pass that way.

Closer to Bahareya it was back to the poor, jagged, rutted and corrugated road that has gained the far from unique nickname of 'road of knives' due to the many punctures.

Police in Siwa were insistent that we stayed with one of the tour vehicles heading that way, however after the first checkpoint we did our own thing. Quite impresively we got a call that night on the sat phone to ask where we had got to, as we hadn't checked in at Bahareya.

More details after the next trip in November.
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Old 28 Nov 2010
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Update

Siwa to Bahareya Nov 2010.

The stretches of perfect tarmac are all joined up from around Bahrein Oasis around about half way to Siwa in the West.

The track Bahareya to Sitra remains painful and annoying but perfectly doable and no way to get lost.

The track through the small stretch of dunes from Sitra to Bahrein had been recently cleared of sand for the Pharoans Rally support vehicles, hence 2 WD minibuses were doing the trip on the day we went. We had much more fun on the dunes of course.

The most annoying part of the trip this time was the local police insistence that all vehicles be at a check point before allowing anyone through. Bearing in mind there are 6 checkpoints and different groups were stopping for lunch at different times, you can imagine ther situation. When this was clearly going to mean we could be riding into Siwa in the dark, we simply took off and drove around the remaining 2 check points. We expected a visit from a 'Chief' in Siwa to moan, but no one bothered us.

Hope this helps. I would thoroughly recommend Siwa, it's surroundings and people, and the route to Bahareya, unless you have an absolute huge desire to see Alexandria.

Hope this helps.
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  #5  
Old 1 Dec 2010
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I was in Siwa just 2 weeks ago on a KTM Adv hoping to ride the 420 km to Bahareya and not having to drive back the 800km boring straight tarmac road to Cairo (though dodgy at times getting closer). My wife was accompanying with the Land Rover, we had booked a "guide" -- mandatory to or join a convoy. There's no way the local Captain of the Intelligence Security Border Patrol based in Siwa could let me through on 2 wheels. We stayed there in the office entrance until almost 21:00... proposing to show the bike and equipment, he would not even meet, just refused. Nothing would do, not even referring to the Rallye that passed there a few weeks before. The Captain insisted the bike could go through in the back of a truck only. Later the hotel manager mentioned it would probably be easier to obtain the authorization from the Cairo central office instead.

The ride back home was long. There's a missed opportunity for tourism there.. who knows maybe in the future things will evolved favorably. Please do let us know if you succeed! /C
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Old 1 Dec 2010
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Bikes possible

Unsurprising to find the amazing inconsistency in Egypt. We had no problem at all getting the scrap of paper for 3 KTM Adventures to go Bahareya to Siwa 2 weeks ago.

It is almost certainly a case of 'who you know'. Please PM for contacts in either Siwa or Bahareya.

From a practical point of view, the only reason for bikes to be banned would be the need to carry extra fuel (even on an adventure), however I would not have thought it too difficult to get a tour vehicle to carry a jerry can. I don't advise the strategy of my mate, who did the whole trip with a 20 litre jerry can between his legs a few years ago.

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  #7  
Old 1 Dec 2010
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Oops

Now I'm wondering if your difficulties (Squire) were caused by our skipping of the last couple of check points a few days earlier.

If so, then apologies, but we really prefered not to be racing the sunset.

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