21.10.2008 - 26.10.2008
Moored up in Luxor we hit the many temples on offer. 1st up was the Temples of Karnak. The highlight of the trip so far. Really amazing stuff - more columns than you can shake a stick at, and lots of history to go with them. We were suitable amazed that a lot of the paint is still evident.
There was a small column with a scarab on it. "Apparently" (yeah, right) - you walk round it 7 times and make a wish. Kirstin joined in - the shame of it!
Suitable in awe, and hoping K's wish came true (younger man??) we moved onto the Luxor Temples. Luxor is a little disappointing after Karnak but still pretty cool.
... Then we headed up to the Valley of The Kings - but 1st we had to get our donkeys for our ride, which we foolishly assumed would actually be through the Valley of the Kings. Not so - we just trotted up a main road for 10 minutes. Bloody funny though. Some were clearly out of control and I had the accolade of being the only person to fall off.
(My view from the "dashboard")
(Another random statue at the donkey pick up point)
Excellent fun and we both want a donkey each now. So much better than walking.
Once we reached the Valley of The Kings we chose 3 tombs to see each - this is the place where Tut's tomb is, plus a lot of others. We skipped Tut's as it's crap apparently and you have to pay a whole lot more to see it - a victim of it's fame - there is no treasure inside - it is all in the museum. I can't show you any pictures as they are fanatical about no photography as the flash lights take their toll on the paint. All I can tell you is they are way cool with lots of very vibrant colours and giant coffins (can't spell sarcophagus...?) inside each tomb.
(You can't see inside a tomb but I thought I'd give you a teaser)
The above picture is the steps leading to a tomb where you have to stoop down and clamber though to get in. Amazing paintings and carvings again.
Templed out, we explored Luxor a bit, and finding our favourite restaurant was fully booked we grabbed a horse drawn carriage to , of all places, MacDonalds! - YAY!
The next stage of the trip was to get a mini-van to Hurghada to catch a ferry to Sharm El Sheik. An exciting journey, if not a little worrysome. We had to go in a Police convoy, with two Police jeeps at the back and two at the front, bristling with armed cops in flak jackets and helmets. I guess because we were driving through the desert. The convoy was huge. A good 20 or more coaches, some mini vans, and some jeeps. The police ahead stopped the traffic at every junction so we never stopped ourselves. It was a very impressive sight when we went round long corners seeing loads of our convoy, all zooming along with hazard lights flashing.
This was to be a four and a half hour journey, followed by a sleep at Hurghada, then catch the 3 hour ferry to Sharm, but at the 3 hour mark our new guide told us there was a 70% change that the ferry would not sail due to high winds. What was the alternative I asked? Oh, just another 15 hours in the convoy , driving round the coast line. Not a chance! no way we were going to spend about 20 hours in a minivan, and we made this clear. Our new (hopeless) guide was a little bemused and told us there was no other way. Still, no way were were going to do this.
When we got to the hotel we enquired about flights (Thanks Matt :-) ) - which had no room for 3 days! I think the Gods were looking over us and the ferry company confirmed that all was well at 11.30pm. Thank God!
At this stage I had the shits. I'd had them for about 12 hours and took Immodium to get through the journey.
The next day we caught the ferry - in essence a huge speedboat - and the sea was indeed very rough, we frequently got airborne, and it rocked so much side to side that the view went from sky to all sea through the side windows. A few of the Aussie guys had a laugh sitting on the floor - they'd float in the air and come down with a hard landing when we jumped over big waves. A few of the girls were less happy. Lots of sick bags and very white faces. Poor things.
We are now in Dahab, a laid back seaside resort kind of area. My shits never subsided so I called out a doctor today and got a jab in the butt and some medicine to take. Bacterial infection number 2! (literally)
Oh! - regarding my finger - I got a doc to look at it in Luxor. He told me off for not getting it stitched but it's healing well and I have some dresings and stuff to put on it now. All seems well. Though I'm not convinced I didnt' rip a tendon. I can't bend the last segment of my finger but that may be purely down to lack of use, being bandaged and all.
Tomorrow I think K is organising a horse ride along the beach. I may relax some more :-)