On the Plane

Snapshots From the Road

And then there were the odd or trying moments for the press traveling this week with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Like when the NBC News crew was stuck in the men's locker room of the Movenpick Hotel in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, waiting for the photo opportunity of President Hosni Mubarak with Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates -- and Gates walked in to use the urinal.

Helene Cooper of The New York Times proved true dedication to the job.

Her computer motherboard broke down the first time she turned it on after the plane took off from Washington, just as Rice came back to brief reporters.

During the entire trip, she used colleagues' computers or ones provided by the U.S. Embassy. But the leg home today from Jerusalem to the refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland -- where reporters filed their last stories -- was the ultimate challenge. Cooper wrote her entire 800-word story on her BlackBerry.

On Rice's last stop in the West Bank capital of Ramallah, the news media were promised Wi-Fi connections at the million-dollar, U.S.-funded media center in the headquarters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (as well as sandwiches) while Rice had a working lunch with Palestinian leaders.

But the center offered no Wi-Fi connections. And no lunch either.

-- Robin Wright

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  August 2, 2007; 5:39 PM ET  | Trip:  Rice in Middle East, July 2007
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