25-Dec-2002 -- I was only able to get to within 8.3 km of this DC after nearly 4 hours of off-road driving in a labyrinth of mountains and wādiys. It lies within a very mountainous region of the Eastern Desert south of the al-Quṣayr – Qifṭ highway.
At dawn, I arrived at the military checkpoint near the beginning of the highway in al-Quṣayr. The "assistants" and lesser ranking soldiers literally did not want to wake the commanding officer and thus decided to let me pass. I feel very lucky as I went back twice during our stay in the area and they would not let me go beyond the checkpoint again. They told me that I could only proceed with a permit that they said was available at the tourist police office in Quṣayr.
The tourist police would not issue me such a permit and told me that the road was under repair and thus it was far too dangerous for a foreigner to travel. They did not know that I had already travelled the highway and beyond. There were no repairs being made to any part of the 105 km of the highway that I travelled. In fact it is a very nice, wide highway all the way through to Wādiy Ḥammāmāt, which was at a distance more then half the distance to Qifṭ.
The current highway follows the ancient Myos Hormos road. This is the shortest route from the Red Sea to the Nile. There are 65 line-of-sight Roman watch towers located along this highway and as many as 10 Hydreumata. I unsuccessfully tried to utilize a visit to these towers, hydreumata and the al-Zarqā' Roman station/fort as my excuse to gain access to the area a second time. Perhaps with a letter of introduction from Cairo and/or a local guide the police may grant a permit to travel into this area?
The DC is located at a bearing of 187 degrees from my last location at 26° 4.447'N 34° 0.594'E. I pushed the limits of my vehicle while navigating a labyrinth of wādiys and crossing three narrow, steep and rocky animal passes to get to this position. Another attempt should leave the highway at 26° 7.708'N 33° 59.057'E. Follow the track to 26° 7.070'N 33° 58.860'E and turn nearly due south following the wādiy going the southerly direction. This approach should put a person into a position to follow the general southeast directional flow of the mountains to a location much closer to the DC.