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  • 1 Post By Vegan Without Frontiers

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  #1  
Old 18 Jul 2014
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Vegan Without Frontiers...London to Cape Town...now boarding in Iskenderun (hopefully

Hello from Jon and Katya - doing our London to Cape Town and currently waiting to try the ferry from Iskenderun to Damietta tomorrow! Which ferry is not entirely clear from our chats with UN Ro-Ro, but its all part of the adventure, eh?

Our blog is at Vegan Without Frontiers | The travels of two vegans exploring the world in our beloved camper van Troopy. (I'm supposed to be doing an entry now about our wild camping trip through Turkey, but wanted to say hello here first as all the people on here have helped out so far in choosing our route by their trials and adventures).

I'll report back on how it goes...we're all ready with the CDP and will see what happens...

Cheers,
Jon/Katya
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  #2  
Old 22 Jul 2014
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Hi Jon and Katya,
Nice to see people getting on the ferry to Damietta again.
We, Stephan and Nikki from the netherlands, will start our trip to Capetown at the end of september. I am curious how things went with the ferry to Damietta so please keep us informed. Enjoy your trip!!

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  #3  
Old 25 Jul 2014
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Port Said NIGHTMARE

Hi - and thanks for the best wishes....sadly we are still trying to get our Troopy out of the port. We prepared as best we could, arrived with CDP and knew what charges we should be paying... Then the nightmare began. We will post a blog update soon, but IF the ferry is still running I would recommend anyone NOT to take it.

The short version:
Ticket for 1 Landcruiser and 2 people - $1400 US

We arrived off Port Said on Monday morning after getting on the ferry Saturday evening (UN RoRo not operating, but alternative ship through Catoni, we only found out we were destined for Port Said and not Damietta by accident).

We anchored off Port Said until early evening, then entered the port.

Unloading didn't commence until 9pm.

Passports had been collected in Iskenderun and were not returned.

Offloaded and directed through a chaotic container yard to a dirty holding pen with no explanation.

Getting on for midnight, a guy turned up and said we were refused visas, but they would try in the morning - passports not returned. We were stuck in the container yard with no facilities until morning.

Tuesday morning, nobody appears until we get some local help to rattle cages. Space is left on the ferry for our expected deportation - someone in the port police doesn't want passengers coming through so refuses to issue visas. There is talk of having to pay people off.

Finally, we are told that the visas have been issued after intervention from someone with influence. But we are then asked for $500US per vehicle and $100 per passport, just to allow us to start customs clearance. We are then asked for another $1000US+ per vehicle to get cleared/plates etc.

We finally, yesterday (Thursday) paid $670 USD for 2 vehicles and 4 passengers to allow the customs clearance process to get started. We paid another $800US which will hopefully cover everything else to get the vehicles out on Saturday.

So - it will have taken 5 days to get out, and we arrived with all the proper documentation. We have had external support and a lot of local unofficial assistance, and had the worst experience of some of our lives. We have spent whole days of arguing and chasing people just to get to the start of the official process. Arrive here and you are at the mercy of the local 'mafia'.

DON'T DO IT. Avoid Port Said at all costs.
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  #4  
Old 26 Jul 2014
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Wow.... what a shame for Egypt those corrupted custom agents. This doesn't help to get the tourism back on its feet.
I hope the rest of your journey won't give you so much headaches.
One thing is for sure. It's not likely we will take the ferry to Egypt considering what you have been through.

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  #5  
Old 27 Jul 2014
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Now you're in, good luck with getting out again. In 1999 I visited Egypt and swore I'd never return. So far I've kept my promise.

Chapter 5 The Big Trip

The rest of Africa is wonderful compared to Egypt. Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 28 Jul 2014
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Hey,

We are planning to get into egypt by Land from Israƫl of by boat to the port of Damietta.

Did you had a quotation of an agent in Said, before boarding the ferry?
This story reeds as a hoorifing nighmare, and i would absolutely like to avoid stuff like that.

We are allready in contact with the twotwintocapetown, are there more people whe are planning right now to enter egypot around end of sep/begin oct?

Sam
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  #7  
Old 28 Jul 2014
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Details on these blogs...

Hi - having survived the 'mare, I personally didn't have the energy to do a detailed write-up, but Katya did one from her perspective, and our fellow prisoners at Africality.com have done a blow-by-blow account...check them out at:

A Tale of Two Cities | Vegan Without Frontiers

Blog - Overlanding - Europe to Africa by Land Rover - articles

I'm going to try and look on the whole things as an 'experience'

Good luck!

ps. Without really knowing, I think the Israel>Damietta route is the problem these days due to the situation in Gaza. Its all a bit fluid at the moment I think, so I guess we are *lucky* to have manaed to get through. Container to Kenya sounds so much less trouble!
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Old 28 Jul 2014
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Congratulations that you made it! Hope your progess will be now more relaxed :-)

Did you have a carnet de passages who was valid for egypt?

Did your shipping company support you at the port?

Surfy
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  #9  
Old 5 Aug 2014
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Hi,

Yes - we had the CDP valid for Egypt.

No - the shipping company was not helpful; we booked through Catoni in Turkey, who are an agent, and quite helpful with the departure stuff from Turkey.

The 'line operator' was a separate company (unknown, though the guy we spoke to who appeared to run it was pleasant enough in Turkey).

The ship was owned by a third company.

On arrival in Egypt, our first big hurdle was a demand for $500 US to pay the 'shipping agent' for the 'delivery order'. Without that being paid and a paper issued, you can't progress to customs clearance. This is not a place where reason prevails - the port operates outside the law.
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  #10  
Old 5 Aug 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegan Without Frontiers View Post
Yes - we had the CDP valid for Egypt.
Thank you for the update. This really sounds bad, hopefully the ferry and harbor people gain some experiences out of it, so that other travellers have an easier life

Surfy
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  #11  
Old 7 Aug 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfy View Post
hopefully the ferry and harbor people gain some experiences out of it, so that other travellers have an easier life

Surfy
I would doubt that. Unfortunatey these people are only interested in what they can stuff in their own pockets right now. Not the bigger picture or the future.
The fact they screw up the tourist trade for the rest of the country for years is not on their radar
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  #12  
Old 8 Aug 2014
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We will let you know, around mid octobre how bad it was. I still think ramadan is generally not the best time to deal with authorities.
No cigarettes the whole day, not a single sip of water.
But what matters for me is, that they made it. congrats to the Vegans and africality.
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  #13  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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We made it...and only had to wait a week in Aswan before getting a ferry out to Sudan. Sadly, our vehicles are still in Aswan and we are spending another week in the dusty desert heat of Wadi Halfa waiting for the barge to sail. Really, this route is not worth the trouble and expense. Other people we have met spent a month in Aswan waiting for a barge, or 3 weeks waiting for their truck to arrive from Sudan. Think about the time and cost before coming this way....neither are low or predictable...
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