I left Benghazi around 8:30 am heading for Tubruk, my GPS had it as a 6 hour ride along the coast. About 50 km out of town a car pulled up beside me as I was riding along. The driver was motioning for me to stop and have something to eat with them. Now this happens a lot and I normally just wave and decline but this guy was politely persistent and kept pulling up besides me. He had 3 women in the car with him so I figured it must be safe enough to stop and I pulled in to a restaurant behind him.
His name is Raffa Mohammad and he is from Benghazi. He left the women in the car and we went inside. Raffa bought drinks and sandwiches for me even though I said I didn’t want any as I just had breakfast. We then headed outside for the photo op with the bike and everyone else in the car park. Raffa then gave me 20 Dinar (about 15$) for Benzine (Petrol). I insisted I didn’t need it but it was forced upon me. Raffa then enquired about my route and we bid goodbye.
About 5 km further along the road Raffa was stopped and flagging me down. I pulled over and he told me he reckoned my route wasn’t safe and that I should follow him as he was also going to Tubruk. He looked like a decent trustworthy guy so I decided to trust him even though I couldn’t find his route on my GPS.
We headed off the main road up into the mountains and out into the desert. After an hour we stopped at a gas station where he advised me to fill up as it was going to be the last station for 250 km or so. I filled up and went to pay with the money he had given me for gas earlier but he had already paid. We then headed off across the desert into the unknown. The road was good enough. There was not much to worry about except for the odd camel wandering about and traffic was light so the trip was very enjoyable. There were plenty of dancing dust devils in the desert to keep me entertained along the way. About half way through the desert we stopped again for lunch which I was not allowed to pay for either.
When we reached Tubruk around 2pm I was dropped off right at my hotel. Once again I have been amazed by the generosity of the people in this country. Tomorrow I will cross the border into Egypt. A crossing that apparently can take up to 9 hours to get through and cost as much as $300.
I will miss Libya and it’s people. I have found them to be among the most helpful and generous people I have ever encountered. The western media give Libya a bad reputation but once again I have found this to be a lie. Come see Libya and meet it’s people if you get the chance and you will be presently surprised. I reckon in five to ten years the country will once again be on it feet and a domineering player on the world stage. Libya, thank you for everything, I’ve had a wonderful time here and I wish you all the best.
Mate, the way you have been going, they will pay you to cross the border!
Ride the wind Kev! Enjoy the sunrises and the sunsets!
Niiiice! Everything’s coming up roses as usual! Enjoy!
Fairplay Kev, your some boyo
Libya was definitely one of my favourite countries of those I have visited. I found it the same with everything you have said about the people and their genuine generosity and hospitality – completely humbling experience. Amazing country and I have wonderful memories of my time there.