Two months ago I did not know what a blog was and now there is one with my name on it as I prepare to travel to the Middle East. In the past I would try and send back emails which can be a problem in countries where the letters on the keyboards are different. Even worse are the old keyboards with the letters worn off, really slows down my one finger typing. More than once after an hour of typing something crashed and the screen went blank.
On a trip to turkey with my brother in 2008 he brought a small computer and not only was it easier to send emails, he also sent pictures to a web site. Wanted to send pictures back this trip and couldn't get my brother to come, so a blog.
The last time I did any serious work on a computer, the computer had vacuum tubes and input was by punch cards. Now at my brothers recommendation I have a small Mac which seems to work-hasn't crashed yet. This attempt at a blog is to be able to send back both text and pictures. Not sure how easy it will be to find dependable wi-fi, and I know there will be none when camping in the desert but when I do fine some will try to make regular posts.
In addition to bringing a computer, this will be the first time I have ever traveled without a medium or large format film camera-no black and white film this time. Will reduce the problem of getting film through all the check points and x-ray machines. For my last trip to the Middle East I bought my first digital camera to use as a back up to the Pentax 67 which is my favorite medium format camera. For this trip my main camera will be a Nikon D700 which means I will need to update my 7 year old Mac when I get home as it won't open files from the new Nikon. The old Mac, I think then it was called the Apple Blossom or something, was only used with an older version of photoshop to scan film onto to make digitally enlarged negatives and positives for platinum prints or gravure plates. It would also open files from my original digital camera
This trip starts in Cairo, Egypt and then by train and bus to Abu Simbel on Egypts southern border. Then after a few days in Aswan and on the Nile an we will meet the Oasis truck in Luxor. Going north we cross under the Suez canal and then cross the Sinai, stopping to climb Mount Sinai, before getting to the Red Sea for a few days of diving. Will then take the long ferry trip to Jordan. Wadi Rum and Petra are two planned stops in Jordan before crossing into Syria. In Syria will be able to spend a few days in Damascus and Aleppo. Will also spend some time in Palmyra. After leaving Syria we will be in Turkey and several great stops are planned. While in Damascus, Syria there is a chance we will also get to travel to Beirut depending on the political situation. The last time I was there there was no way to get to Beirut. The trip will end in Istanbul. I will be traveling with Oasis Overland which is based in England. They do a lot of great trips and I have traveled with them before.
I really wanted to start in Tunis,was hoping to travel through Libya as I had an uncle that started a hospital in Libya many years ago and told me a lot the country. Was unable to get a visa for Libya, it seem like if your passport is Swiss, Chinese, or US there is no way to get a visa to Libya. How did we all get lumped together?
The following are a few photos from my Middle East trip a couple years ago. Will give you an idea why I want to go back.