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Egypt Sharm El Sheikh Airport Day 1

28th Febuary 2020

I got some cracking views of Red-tyhroated Pipits before I got arrested for the second time in my life!!

From Birmingham Airport, I got a cheap flight, via Istanbul where I was delayed due to bad weather and arrived at Sharm El sheikh Airport, Egypt, some three hours late. I had planned to be with Mashuq Hahmad, like we did last year in Kuwait, along the coast of the Red Sea but Mash’s work got in the way at the last minute and he couldn’t make it. It was 07.30 when I walked out of the airport and immediately I heard a Red-throated Pipit. As security is still high in this city after the bombing of a Russian airliner some four years ago shortly after take off from Sharm El sheikh airport, I asked security if it was alright to walk around with my camera and binoculars. I also showed him what lens I had to make it clear what I was getting at and there was no misunderstanding. After watching 40+Red-throated Pipit, 30 White Wagtail, 7 Red-rumped Swallow with 30 House Martin and 20 Swallow all feeding next the highway bordering the airport, I got arrested! For the second time in my life after a police guard arrested me in Morocco for saying ‘No!’ when he asked money from me. On that occasion I escaped from his grip but this time there was no escape and there was no need to. I’ve only been in the country a few hours and I’m being escorting back to the airport. Great start!! I tried to explain to the armed guard that I had the clear after asking one of his colleagues but he wasn’t having non of it. They took my optical equipment away and searched me head to toe. Then I was put on the spot while sitting down in a black swivel chair with questions thrown at me. ‘What are you doing here? Where are you from? What did you eat for breakfast? Do you support Liverpool? What is your pet budgie called?’ In the black chair it felt like I was on Mastermind. He did look a little like the late Magnus Magnussan with a very brown suntan. They kept me in for a good 30 minutes and after I had answered all their questions and it was clear that I wasn’t a threat, they let me go. We had a laugh and they offered me tea. I think if I had said no to, if I supported Liverpool? Then it might of been a different outcome. Unless I could think quickly of another Egyptian player in the premier league beside Mohamed Salah.

There were some 40 Red-throated Pipit feeding with 30 White Wagtail in the early morning light in a small patch of a weedy grass just across the road from the entrance of the airport.

This Hoopoe was singing before it flew off

Following the map from MapsMe on my mobile, I headed off north towards my hotel. After two miles of walking, it dawned on me that I was goin in the wrong direction and should be goin south! After not getting much sleep in nearly 24 hours of traveling, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea to get to my hotel on foot. The heat was already so intense but in the desert area near to the airport I did get a flock of 40 Crowned Sandgrouse low overhead and a single Bar-tailed Lark. As I passed the airport entrance, I kinda of tried to walk past discreetly so the soldiers didn’t recognise me from when I was with them two hours ago. I think they would of been pretty suspicious if they saw me still hanging around at the airport. I read up before I got to Sharm, that it seemed the only form of transport was to use a taxi but I quickly discovered while walking the highway that there were shared bus-taxi. I took advantage and hoped on one. For a ten minute drive to my hotel, it cost me 10 Egyptian pound. That’s 50p roughly. If I had taken a taxi, I would of been charged between 8 and 10 English pound. I think Ill stick to the shared bus-taxi like I did while I was in Gambia. The rest of the day was spent recovering from the lack of sleep.

The highway that separates the airport on the right and desert on the left where the larks hang out

This Bar-tailed Lark was always on the move only stopping very breifly now and then

Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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