Cairo to Siwa

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October 6th 2010
Published: October 11th 2010
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Am back in Perth but will return you all to Egypt. Actually found a pub and had a few drinks and a meal before boarding the sleeper train for Cairo. The train was very old, slow and not so clean. It broke down a few times and once was outside a village where we watched pople beginning their day. How lucky are we not to have to pump our water daily and carry it back to the house on our heads!!! Pretty lucky too not to have to share our homes with donkeys and water buffalo... It was pleasing to see many of the children with their back packs on heading off to school. It is a credit to them how clean and tidy they send their children off to school uder the condtions. We arrived in Cairo...eventually...Egyptian time and headed to a hotel closer in the city. The driving is crazy, lots of merging, cutting people off, honking of horns, but all done very patiently and respectfully. Aust drivers could learn a lot from the experience. Headed to the Egyptian Museum which really pulled together places and things we had seen. Saw mummified people and animals, even food which was buried with them to make sure life in the here after was well prepared for. Hedaed to a really busy market to finish the day. Mad. 80 million people in Cairo and most of them at this market we think. Tonight we said goodbye to a few of the tour group who were moving onto anothe tour.
Sunday 26th and on the bus at 7am to head to an oasis about 1300km away called Siwa. Sam is our guide and he turned out to be great fun. Had a 4hr drive to El Almein where we viewed the WW2 cemetery and Aust memorial. This is also a popular holiday destination for Egyptians and there are many, many holiday houses in various stages of building. HAdluch, Egyptian time at 4pm and arrived in Siwa at 10pm. Walked around this village which is very different. Streets are dirt, donkeys and catrs, motorbikes flying aroud. People still up, mostly men and boys as their hours are very different to ours.
Slept in the hardest bed ever, but can't complai as most only have a mat on the floor in the oasis.
Howeer after exploring this placewe all loved it. We visited their Mountain of the dead and Temple of Oracle. Took a bicycle/donkey ride to Cleopatra Springs where we swam, after deciding the green stuff floating on the top wouldn't kill us. It was refreshing as the weather is extremely hot. Had a 4x4 desert trip across large sand dunes and watched the sunset drinking Egyptian tea. A magic evening. Had a local meal, BBQ chicken cooked on what we would see as the median strip outside the restaurant!
Left after 3 nights and on the way back to Cairo spent time swimming in the Mediterrean Sea. We all loved this. The water is so blue and quite warm. Went to a market but most were over markets so back in the bus for the long trip back to Cairo. This was a wonderful part of the trip with a great group and a very diferent experience.



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