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Published: October 24th 2007
The road to Luxor
continued to be straight and true, with hardly any traffic whatsoever until we descended down a great wadi with spectacular cliffs on either side towards the Nile and Luxor town. After one or two wrong slots in the centre of the town we found the campsite in the centre of the built up area. There was grass for us to pitch our tents and we found only two other campers there - one lot, a young couple on two BMW bikes, we had met in the visa queue at the Ethiopian Consulate in Cairo! Apart from the showers and loos which leave a lot to be desired the campsite is quite adequate and the hosts very friendly.
In the evening we went to a Sound and Light Show at the Temple of Karnak which is the largest temple in Egypt. Nothing could prepare us for the sheer size and beauty of the temple! The commentary was a bit cheesy at times but the lighting was wonderful and made it very atmospheric. The most wonderful part of the temple is the Great Hypostyle Hall where there are 134 enormous stone pillars soaring into the sky. Jeremy, Camilla
and I visited again early in the morning on our last day and the pillars are most beautifully decorated and painted.
It is extremely hard to describe adequately the sites we have seen in the desert over the last 4 days. My perceptions of the Sahara were of endless areas of flat sand, punctuated with sand dunes and camels and the odd palm-tree laden oasis where a pool of cool water would be the centre piece. There may well be places like that but not where we have been.
Yes, there were a (very) few boring stretches of featureless sand with little or nothing to break up the relief. But most of it was totally unlike this. There were colorful escarpments with plateau tops and steep sides in all shapes and, in particular, colours. The colours were for ever changing as we drove along. There were black mountains, red mountains, white ones, and variously shaped ones ready to catch the eye. The temperature at this time of year is not too hot and we were extremely privileged to be able to travel the roads in the comfort of our large cars all fitted with air
conditioning. At night the stars were so much brighter than we seen for a long time. The silence when the wind drops is stunning.
Even on our short excursions from the tarmac we have realized how very easy it would be to get lost in the desert, totally to lose one’s sense of direction - and one would not have to be very wrong to be very wrong! The road has been exceptionally good, so much so that, apart from the off road excursions we have made, we could have driven all the way from England to Luxor in a family saloon - even a Mini! The roads have been that good.
Tot: 1.246s; Tpl: 0.062s; cc: 13; qc: 27; dbt: 0.016s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb