Egyptian adventurers have been increasing in number, though most of them remain unheard of. I was lucky enough to get to know one of the young Egyptian adventurers, a biker, who decided to venture into an untraveled road through the Egyptian oases on his bicycle. I was so amazed when I knew about him by chance, contacted him and we met, he’s an amazing person, full of energy and an adventurous spirit. I won’t be surprised when he’s a famous National Geographic adventurer 🙂
Meet Galal, the young Egyptian adventurer whom, as all other Egyptian adventurers, went unheard of. We decided, Galal and I, to make weekly, or biweekly, posts about his latest adventure through cycling Egypt, specifically cycling one of the roughest road of Egypt through the Western Desert. And here is his first post about it:
How I became that biker
Since early childhood I have always loved traveling, not only to see new cultures and visit new places, but the feeling of the road and the moving into distance, I was in love with my back seat while we were travelling to the North Coast, Alexandria and I always loved looking at the desert with its vast horizon. My dream started to form when I first hiked to Suez back in 2008 with my school, then cycled with my school to Ismailia (from Cairo), a distance of 100 km in 2009, I fell in love with cycling and that kind of accomplishment during an early age made me realize that I can do whatever I want. The following year I did the same trip again, this time becoming a leader of the trip. In 2011 I decided to do my first solo ride, going to Al-Ain Al-Sokhna, 100km from Cairo on my bicycle alone, and that is when the dream started to get bigger, and I started to push my limits to prove to myself that I can do more, and so in 2012 I cycled my way to amazing Nuweiba through Sinai, solo.
My imagination got wilder, and my dreams followed the path of my imagination, and the idea of cycling around the wildest road of Egypt started to get into shape as I chose the Western Desert of Egypt to be my next challenge.
People’s Reactions and How They Helped
At the beginning people were surprised about the Nuweiba story and not much of them gave any interest in the Western Desert adventure, perhaps they thought it’s unrealistic, perhaps they didn’t know where the Western Desert is or perhaps they were seeing that challenging myself to Nuweiba was enough, and its time I follow the crowds and “grow up”, but the truth is I never like to stay doing nothing and I have those growing dreams in my head that I couldn’t just let it go!
So for almost a year I was planning, editing and dreaming how this idea is going to become reality and be a story to be told!
When my plan was ready, I had to buy a new bike, and I started to contact some sponsors to get any kind of support, I didn’t care much about getting sponsors who pay money as much as getting those who are interested and believe that we “Egyptians” have to go outdoors, the ones that are trying to work their ways out of the Egyptian society norm…
In less than a week I had ‘The BootCamp’, ‘Wild Guanabana’ and ‘Dayma’ by my side, they raised my spirit so high that I was full of energy to go hit the road the soonest I can, but I was yet to repair “Chita” my bike and get it into shape, and here came Karim Abbany, the perfect guy for such a job, he was the one who helped me in this mission. Also as I had to have some sort of back up in Cairo, Nabil Naim was the head of my emergency response team in coordination with Hussein Mesharafa, we three had to revise the route all over for at least 3 times to be sure that the plan is set.
Once I was ready to hit the road, everyone started encouraging me, by a phone call, sharing my updates and even from Canada, I had my dearest friend online all the way. It felt amazing to have all this moral support from different directions!
People, when they believe in a cause, they just encourage it as if it was theirs. And all this support was because those people believed that such a trip is to inspire all Egyptians to go for the outdoors, go seek themselves and challenge themselves above all their limits and out their comfort zones. This is how we build heroes and this is where Egypt has to set sail.
This post is a guest post by Galal Zekri – Chatila and is edited by Mina Mahrous.
All photo redits in this post go to Galal Zekri – Chatila