Sunday, 29 July 2012

Walk like an Egyptian

Egypt was always on my list of must see countries, but things were getting quite heated prior to my arrival ... and mum kept suggesting I rethink my travel plans so I decided to do a tour with Intrepid just to be on the safe side - and to let them do the negotiations in case I got kidnapped.

I'm a bit tardy with my first blog from Egypt, but the Egyptians aren't big on wifi ... or many other technical things such as computers with an internet connection.

I arrived in Cairo at around 2am and it was a balmy (read that as bloody hot) 35 degrees. I had a day before I had to meet the group so decided to beat the heat at the lovely pool at the intercontinental hotel over looking the Nile.

After a relaxed afternoon with Tania who I'd met in the hotel lobby we rocked up to see who we would be spending the next two weeks with. Very cool, only three other people, girls from the states who are much more Mexican than American. And Ahmed our fab if a little crazy leader.

My first adventure was of course the pyramids. We're belting along the highway in our van when there they are. Such acool site.

The pyramids are much bigger than I expected ....very awesome.

To get a closer look I decided that a camel would be my transport of choice.

Betsy (alias) was a very cool camel, we had a relaxing little journey in the belting Egyptian sun.

The next stop was the sphinx, which was much smaller than I imagined but very very cool.

I needed a beverage stop after all the wandering in the 40 degree heat (at 9am) so made my way over to a group of kids with an esky. I grabbed a seat and hung out with the kids - I was quite good at yelling out coca cola only 10 pounds. Sadly I didn't actually make a sale but the kids were highly amused.

Driving to the museum we went past liberation square where many protestors are still camping out.

The next stop was the Egyptian museum. Sadly cameras are not allowed in so you'll have to take my word for it when I say that this is one of the best museums I have ever been to. The sheer number of artifacts that are so well preserved is mind blowing.

I was so excited to see the King Tut display. Despite the fact that King Tut didn't achieve much during his reign, his tomb is the only one in Egypt that was found intact, hence his claim to fame. His multiple casks, gold masks etc are all there ... very awesome. Makes me understand why Molly Meldrum is so into all things Egyptian.

After a busy day in the crazy city of Cairo it was off to the station to board our train to Aswan. I was prepared for the worst given my Indian train experiences, but the Egyptians can sure run a train service. There are only 2 bunks I each room, there is a lockable door, a sink and towel, very clean linen and a butler type dude delivers edible food.

I woke the next morning to find the train at a stand still. It was very early so I wandered down to the 'have a ciggie' carriage to get a coffee. I found out that we are still 2.5 hours from Aswan and there were protestors blocking the tracks. We waited it out for 5 hours ...

... until Ahmed our fearless leader called for a car to come get us. Well the landscape was a bit desolate....

Many of the passengers looked on in envy as we climbed across the tracks and got into the old blue beast, our transport for the next 3 hours.

We passed the protestors on the way ... they looked like they would have scattered if the train had of ploughed on through.

We arrived in the beautiful town of Aswan sweaty but ready for the next adventure. So we dumped our gear and jumped on a boat to cruise around the islands in the Nile.

We stopped on an island where i had a swim with some local kids. The nile is very cold.

The next morning we were up at 3am to join the three hour convoy to Abu Simbel. The two temples are full of carving and paintings on every surface, cameras weren't allowed inside but the entrances will give some idea of how amazing this place is.

These temples totally blew me away so i wasnt sure whether anything else would measure up or if egypt had peaked too early.

The answer to that and to my crazy sisters' comments about me getting parasites from swimming in the Nile will be in my next post coming soon (while I have a rare wifi day or two) .... unless the parasites get to me first!

Posted from somewhere round the world...


  1. It's not crazy - the parasites are real and quite common!

    apart from that though, egypt looks awesome.

    1. but georgia's doing her masters in like health in 3rd world countries or something and she said if you do have the parasites a good course of antibiotics should knock them out anyway, so I figure you'll be fine.

    2. I have a few mozzie bites but that seems to be the only bug that has got me. But tell George thanks for the info.

      And yep, Egypt is super awesome ... probably even golden. But so very hot at the moment