Blogs from Egypt, Africa


Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo May 30th 2015

Woke up and realized it was the last full day of the tour. Today we would be visiting the Egyptian museum followed by a mosque and church and ending with a market visit. After breakfast we gathered in the lobby and boarded the bus for one final ride. First stop was the Egyptian museum and the first thing you noticed was the level of security. There were soldiers, machine gun posts and tanks protecting the building. Zizo did explain there had been a few successful break ins at the museum including one where the thief was trapped by the police on a bridge and proceeded to throw the artifacts into the Nile where they were subsequently lost in the water :(. We paid the final fee 85 EGP to enter the museum. Security was also heavy ... read more
Ladies in the green robes

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo May 29th 2015

I should explain the title. I suffer from Anxiety attacks. Most of the times they are minor and I am able to use them to focus on the task at hand. Every 4 or 5 years I suffer a severe attack that immobilizes me mentally. Today I suffered a bad one and at the worse possible time as well. Back to the tour first. I woke again on a boat swaying back and forth. I had slept better last night so I was getting used to the Felucca boat. We were leaving that morning to get back on our bus and return to the land based tour. After some breakfast of eggs and bread we settled accounts with the crew. The usual Baksheesh (TIP) is 40 EGP. I didn't have any small Egyptian currency so I ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan May 28th 2015

I woke up to my bed swaying back and forth and I was disoriented. I looked around and remembered I was on a Felucca in the Nile. I was covered with bug bites and the bug spray I had covered myself with last night did no good. I am fairly certain they were drawn to the bug spray. The crew made breakfast for us which included eggs and bread. We had some time before the boat left so everyone swam in the Nile to clean up and cool off. I watched everyone for a bit before deciding I was in the Nile and couldn't pass up the opportunity. After telling everyone what I was doing and getting some help from Josh and Carey I jumped in. I must admit it was scary but I just had ... read more
Dancing around the bonfire
Felucca boat

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan May 27th 2015

Abu Simbel is the monument to visit today. 3AM wakeup call to join a security convoy. All tours going to Abu Simbel are required to join a security convoy. One leaving at 4AM and the other around noon. Zizo advised us that the convoys are both for security and maintenance sake because the lack of repair stations along the way, a bus that broke down could be stuck in the hot sun for hours. The convoys have a spare bus and maintenance teams in them to get everyone moving again. Breakfast was provided in a box from the hotel and it had bread, sandwich meat, juice box and crisps. Everyone was on the bus but 1 person and it took about 3 hours to get there. On the way south we crossed the tropic of cancer ... read more
Ramses II

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor May 26th 2015

Woke up at 3:20AM for the hot air balloon. I managed to shower and brush my teeth before heading down to reception. 17 of us would be on this hot air balloon ride. The few of us who opted out had already taken a balloon ride at other places such as Turkey. We piled into a van and took it down to the river where we boarded a boat that took us to the west side of the Nile. A fun fact, all the temples and tombs are on the west bank of the Nile as it symbolizes the end of life because the sun sets in the west. We boarded another van on the west side of the Nile and made our way to a field where 5 or 6 balloons were being inflated. Our ... read more
On the riverboat

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor May 25th 2015

Woke up early and tried not to wake up my roommate who had gotten back just 2 hours before. I went down to the hotel lobby and saw the mentally disturbed lady was still there interacting with some children. She was still locked in and would be leaving that day. I am honestly not sure why her family would just leave her at the hotel. I found out that fact from the hotel staff. I sat at a table and typed out my blog for the day and let people back home that I was doing alright. After this I went out to the beach and stepped into the Red sea for the first time. After that I went to breakfast. I sat with Carey and we talked about the events of last night. Everyone had ... read more
Festival Jardins

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Giza May 24th 2015

I set my alarm to wake me up at 6:30AM so I would have time to shower and eat breakfast before our bus left at 7:30AM. Unfortunately the alarm didn't work and I ended waking at 7:15AM and quickly getting dressing and rushing to reception. I settled my bill with hotel reception and dropped off my luggage in the one room they had arranged to store our luggage. Everyone gathered at reception including 2 people who had arrived the previous night. So we were a full 20 people now. We left at 7:30AM for the pyramids. There are 4 pyramids that we would visit that day. The steppe pyramid and than the 3 great pyramids at Giza. The cost of entry was 160 Egyptian pounds and you pay that in cash to the tour leader. He ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo May 23rd 2015

Tour is starting. Felucca Odyssey is the name of the tour with Travel Talk. My original plans with Topdeck fell through so after checking around I settled on Travel Talk which gets good reviews. Flight got in from Frankfurt at 1:30AM and they were good enough to send a driver for me. I had gotten a visa beforehand but the person from Traveltalk was there to help me through immigration if need be. Driving from the airport took about 40 minutes and I got my first view of the mighty Nile on the way in. It was an impressive sight. Got to my hotel Cataracts Pyramid Resort and checked in with both the hotel and Travel Talk. The tour itself cost $400 CAD and I paid 160 British pounds as a local payment. For Egyptian tours ... read more
Scattering Postcards around the world

Africa » Egypt » Red Sea April 6th 2015

School holidays! We spent our Easter weekend in Egypt on route to France, where we’ll spend the rest of the holidays. Murray has been spending more time at the head office in Geneva, so we thought we’d come and see a bit of Switzerland and France in our Easter holiday. We stopped over in Cairo as we have good friends there. It made me think a lot about the pros and cons of raising our kids overseas, having myself only got my first passport when I was in my late teens. Cons – Friends leave Kenya all the time, good friends, friends you don’t know so well, acquaintances. One year I counted 30 families that moved away from us in a year, it’s a lot. My own childhood couldn’t have been more different. One child moved ... read more
Hayley practising her photography skills
A little late for sunrise
Walking around the pyramids

Africa » Egypt » Sinai » St Catherine November 10th 2014

Into the Heart of Sinai. As we rolled up to the checkpoint, the soldier who had flagged us down walked around the car and stood in front of my window. He wore an automatic rifle of some kind, strapped across his chest – the barrel pointing down at the road. His left hand covered the trigger guard almost negligently and because the gun was at eye level next to my window, I had a brief opportunity to wonder how the regulation army green barrel and metal stock had become so scratched and dented. His right hand moved up to the window, palm facing upwards. “Passport” he said in heavily accented English. I handed over our passports and he began thumbing through the pages with calloused fingers. ‘Those hands look as if they could use a little ... read more
Mushroom Rock
All of Sinai Spread Out Below
The Bedouin Camp

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