“Suez. Photograph. Quick!”
We’d hired a minibus to take us back from St Katherine’s monastery to Cairo, a trip of about five hours which, on the public bus, takes between seven and eight. To make ends meet, the driver had filled the bus up with other passengers, who couldn’t work out what he was pointing at.
Fair call. We’d driven off the highway, down a dusty track lined with lorries to a dead end. He pulled up, told me to photograph the Suez canal through the windscreen and was already backing up as I pulled my camera out.
Folks, it was a distinctly unattractive view of one of the world’s great engineering feats. Just a bright strip of turquoise sea hemmed in by dry, dusty desert on either side, with a line of tankers queuing up to get across – most motorists cross the canal through a 1.6km subterranean tunnel, missing the canal completely.
I took the snap, but as we were hightailing it out of the no-go photography zone, I saw it – a massive ship cruising past us, the slim canal completely obscured, so it looked like a ship of the desert … see? I can always link a camel in somewhere. Hahahhaahhahaahahahaaaaaa…