How we got stuck on the border between Egypt and Israel

24 February 2022 Travel time: с 08 April 2019 по 09 April 2019
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It was a long time ago, even before covid. We have been to Israel twice. When resting in Egypt, bought an excursion to Israel. Twice they took from the guide, the second time from friends, in a tour agency. The moment from whom we took the tour is not as important as what happened at the border. The Taba border checkpoint is used to cross the land border between Eilat in Israel and the city of Taba in Egypt. The crossing point is located at the southernmost point of the southern coast of Eilat, between the Red Sea and the mountains of Eilat, about 10 km south of the city, and serves as a checkpoint for Israeli citizens and tourists. We heard that not everyone is allowed across the border. But according to reviews, most of them went through customs control.


So, the tour itself: at about 20-21 hours we were picked up from the hotel (depending on the city and the location of the hotel) and taken to the border. There were stops along the way. We drove from Sharm El Sheikh. From Sharm to Taba about 230 km. The journey took about 3-4 hours. We were at the border until 12 midnight. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Then there is a line of buses. (Like at 12 at night they buried the border for an hour). Then you go out and go through the control. Here the escort leaves you. And after the control you will be met and put on the bus. Control pass at least 5-6 hours. The first time was faster. It depends. Then they put you on the bus with you, and they were already taking you to the sights, with a stop at the Dead Sea, Jordan, everything depended on the excursion program. The third time we had a longer passage. They marinate great. You can't ask too many questions. Drug test, lie detector. It's the smallest thing they do there. Nothing the first two times. But for the third time, for the last time. . . They were treated like cattle. I’ll write right away that after a few years we calmed down, and I’m not writing this in a hurry.

So. Of those people who came by bus. Let's say there were 6 or 7 of them. Not all of them passed the border. Of course, we were warned on the bus, only when we drove up to the city of Taba, to the border, that if they didn’t let you through, you would pay for the return trip. Surprise. We were not told this when we bought the tour. Not to us, not to other people. By the way, at that time, Ramadan was going on among the Arabs, or rather, it was already coming to an end. And almost all of them were angry, many in this regard tore the roof in earnest, and many were already thinking about the house, about Cairo, since they work on a rotational basis. Everyone fussed a bit, supposedly like this, for a fee, why didn’t they warn in advance. There was no answer. Well, everyone, of course, in their hearts hoped that it would pass. Why couldn't they miss it? Yes, because people from the CIS countries, when they went on an excursion to Israel, according to statistics, about 30 percent stayed there. And this percentage has increased (this is from their words).


Even on the bus, they asked us if we had anything forbidden, they said that we couldn’t take it. For example, an Arafat scarf (I was presented with a safari excursion, and I had it with me), you can’t. 5 people from the bus had Arafats. And we gave them to the attendant. On the way back he promised to return. Control passed long, tedious and painful. Night, everyone wanted to sleep. The children whimpered. They asked us a thousand questions, a lot of additional examinations, many were taken to the office and interrogated for a long time. I still remember that trip as a nightmare. And now, a group of people who have already passed all the stages of control just stand and wait. Our passports were collected and taken somewhere. I must say right away that everyone who was not from the CIS countries passed quickly (there were Italians on the bus with us and they had long passed, and the French and Americans and Germans also passed), without much red tape. As a result, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, people count two large buses, of those 6 that arrived, did not pass. Up to 10 people passed from Belarus, a couple of people from Ukraine. And not a single person passed Russia. The wife and child were allowed in, the husband remained. The couples broke up. Many of the couples where they let one in also stayed. Didn't want one. This was done so that the one that went would come back. They also asked if there were relatives and friends in Israel, if so, they didn’t let me in right away. And how to lie if you are tested on a lie detector.

The questions were asked very different, tricky and so unimaginable that I am still in shock (for example, I was asked a lot of things, including when my husband and I had an intimate relationship for the first time. And how often do we she. Can you imagine? ! Here I am in shock). And some people were also asked something similar. What for? Nobody knows. And here we are waiting for a miracle. Some woman comes in, says everyone who did not pass, stay, there is no time. And no one will be waiting for you. By the way, the check was still going on, and the border officers said that the check was still going on and maybe they would let someone else through. But that woman said that we are no longer waiting and the buses on the other side with people are already leaving on an excursion. I understand that she was the meeting party. The passports were handed over, and the crowd of people went back in indignation. Neither tears, nor requests, nor prayers helped. Many shouted, swore, cried, many simply remained silent from shock. Rather, not because they didn’t let us in, but because all this is happening and they didn’t wait for us. Everyone went outside on the Egyptian border back. They started putting everyone on buses. My husband and I also went in and sat down. Then a man came in who accompanied us there, to the border (you have already noticed, I just call him the escort). And he said give me money to go back. $50 per person. And the guides and your tour agencies will already compensate you upon returning to the hotel. My husband and I only had $90. And they did not agree to take us. To requests and promises that we would give back at the hotel, he answered categorically and with a cry. Many at first did not want to pay, but in the end they paid. And we had the money in the room. We didn’t take a lot of cash, we usually pay by card everywhere, and we didn’t know that we had to pay for the return. And we were dropped off the bus.


At that time it was about 5-6 am. I don’t remember exactly, for me everything was in a fog, as if not with me. Another man was dropped off, he had no money at all. He gave them to his wife and child who crossed the border. And another young couple. In total, there are 5 of us left. If my memory serves me right, then the guy had a birthday that day, and the girl gave him this excursion. Wow, what a great gift. Very sorry. And that's all. Buses with people left. The escort said if there is no money, well, stay here. Wait for the buses with people from the excursion to return in the evening, then you will go. Stay here all day, I don't care, he said. Or go withdraw money. The ATM was inside the border, of course we were no longer allowed there. The situation is stalemate. Of course we argued with him. How so! We are standing on the street. It's already getting hot. During the day, the temperature will be more than 30 degrees, open country, mountains and desert. This is tin. We have a minimum supply of water, some buns in rations, no toilet, no tap with water to wash ourselves, not even a shade to hide from the scorching sun. None of the people at the border speak Russian, except for that escort. And they hardly speak English. Barely took her Arafatka back. He was also outraged. The attendant left. And the five of us stayed on the street. We stood and thought what to do.

We are alone, in a foreign country, count without money, and everyone cares about us. We went to the exit, they said that the exit is also paid, 200 Egyptian pounds per person. We were lucky that the couple knew English. We are bad. But as I understood, they could let us out for free on the pass. They sympathized with us. We also talked with other border officers, another person came to help, from a casino nearby. But the escort ran (where he came from is not known, probably watched us), rubbed everyone, heated the ears of those who were on the pass, how bad we were, and they no longer wanted to let us out for free. We already thought the charm is over the mountain. But looking at the guards with weapons naturally changed their minds. We began to consider that we have money. They called their agencies where they took excursions. Nobody picked up the phone very early. The couple called. We agreed that the agency would bring the money to the hotel. And that we scraped together for the exit, and part of the payment for the road to the driver (the second part had to be summed up by the agency). We started to catch some drivers. We talked to everyone for a long time. They don't speak languages ​ ​ other than their own. One agreed to lead us and wait until the money was brought to the hotel. He entered the situation and believed us.


It was about 4 hours to go to the hotel, but it was no longer cool at night, and when the sun had already begun to bake, we sat down and paid for the departure. And we went to our hotels. Fortunately, our three hotels were close to each other. The couple got their fare back. The agency did not return anything to the man. Then they found out, many did not return anything. And even the guides returned (at that time only 50 percent). Later the situation changed and transportation back was free. But the compensation was still not one hundred percent. And it was only after three months or more, this is an innovation. And then, only after massive complaints. ). So we drove back. Our main task was to return to the hotel. While sitting in a car (it’s something like a small minibus, very old, but the main thing is that it’s on the move), we began to calm down slowly. On the way back, the driver suggested a stop. My girlfriend and I went to the toilet at the gas station. It's a stupid gas station in the middle of the desert. Mountains, sand, scorching sun. Who was in Egypt, he knows. The station was undergoing repairs. But they let us in, for free. I went out and smoked. I wondered how something like this could happen to us. We arrived at the hotel, where they were waiting for a car from the agency. The driver was nervous. The agency gave the money. We settled with the driver. Later, in the evening, we paid off among ourselves.

Our tour agency returned us about 65 percent of the tour, maybe a little more, up to 70 percent, I don’t remember exactly. He couldn't do it anymore. We calculated the cost of travel and entry to the border. We were happy with that too. Explained about Ramadan, bad time and so on. I don't remember the exact prices. But we paid much less for the tour than the rest, as if by acquaintance. It's good that we've known each other for a long time. We recovered from shock there for a long time. We tried not to think about it. But part of the holiday was spoiled, you know. I tried to tell this story briefly, without unnecessary emotions, and much has already been erased from my memory. When they returned home from vacation, only then they told relatives and friends this story. To worry less about us. And then they were shocked. And then covid came, and the border was closed. And there is no longer such a tour. Although, perhaps someday, they will resume it again. A bitter experience is also an experience. So whenever you go somewhere, find out at once all the nuances at once. Read reviews. Don't be afraid to ask questions right away. Have a cash reserve. And one more thing: it’s better not to go to Arab countries in Ramanad.

Переведено автоматически с русского языка. Посмотреть оригинал
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