Monica Mason


Monica Mason

Enjoys travelling the world with other like minded 18-35 year olds who are looking for the same unique travel experiences as me!

Africa » Egypt » Red Sea » Hurghada March 23rd 2012

Had a good sleep and were up at 7am to the most amazing view! Took a moment to enjoy our veranda and view of the sea/beach before we headed to breakfast! Had a buffet breakfast and then had our optional cruise boat excursion which we didnt expect to have. Sherif organized this boat cruise so that we could go snorkelling and so the group could actually experience the Red Sea before they left today for Cairo. It was actually chilly on the boat, but nice in the sun so everyone picked out different sheltered areas on the boat to sun tan. We stopped at 2 snorkel spots which were both wicked! The water was freezing but most people braved it. I stuck right with the snorkeling guide in the water as he fed the fish so ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Valley of the Kings March 22nd 2012

Super early wake up call this morning at 5:45am:( Had breakfast and then off the boat and onto our Spring Tours bus for our early drive out to Valley of the Kings. Got there at 7am; we were the first group to arrive, there was not another sole in sight! You can tell the normal size of the crowds by how big the bus parking lots are sitting empty. No lines. It was very cool to go down into these tombs where the Pharoahs were originally found! Some of them were extremely deep staircases going into the ground. It was really hot here today so we can hardly imagine what it would be like here in the summer! Sherif mentioned some people faint while he does his history lessons. We got to go in King Tut's ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor March 21st 2012

Since we partied too hard, we skipped the 6:45am wake up call and sightseeing of Edfu temple:( We had a very lazy morning recovering and then when the group was back, we all went for buffet lunch. Today was a sailing day so everyone just spent the day lounging in the sun and recovering from last night. There was a really funny moment when we were going through these locks and all the locals swarm to the boat and try to sell things to the tourists! Some men were following along beside us in their tiny boats and throwing scarves up to people who were bartering with them. Some of the men were making profain gestures at us and it was weird to see some of the tradings that were going on. Money being thrown from ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel March 20th 2012

Had an unfortunate wake up call this morning at 6:45am but all for good reason. Today we were off to see Abu Simbel which is offered as an optional excursion but everyone did it as it's a "must see" according to Sherif. We first drove to the Aswan airport and then flew Egyptair for a short 1/2 hr plane ride there. It was by far the most spectacular thing we've seen yet! As we walked around the side of the huge rock face mountain, we could see the giant carvings of the pharoahs carved into the mountain. The size of them are mind-blowing! Sherif immediately sat us down and gave us a histroy lesson. I was most amazed that they used to be closer to Lake Nasir but have since been moved back. We then got ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan March 19th 2012

My first good sleep so far in the last 3 days has been this overnight train! Fell asleep around 11:30pm and were woken up by the train staff at 8:30am. They got us up in plenty of time for breakfast, re-freshing and then lots of time to sight-see out the window as we came into Aswan! The breakfast again was crappy so we didnt eat much of it. We actually took in the next 2 hours of scenery from the train! It was beautiful along the Nile! So green - lots of banana plants, sugar cane fields, etc. a lot like what I'm used to seeing in the caribbean islands. At 10:30 we got off the train and headed towards our Nile cruise boat where we would be staying the next 3 nights even though we ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo » Nasr City March 18th 2012

Wow - still can't sleep in this hotel! It's crazy loud and was up every hour. Up at 6am for breakfast; paid for our optional excursions to the Spring Tours rep, Mohammed and then bags to the bus. By 8am, we were off to the museum. It took awhile just to get down our street as there was a mad rush of cars trying to get into the gas station which apparently was the norm. Got to the Egyptian museum for our first stop of the tour. I'm surprised that we dont have a separate local guide and that Sherif is our local guide combined with a TM. He was so knowledgable he blew me out of the water. The highlight of the museum for me was definately seeing the mummy of Ramses! I had seen ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo » Nasr City March 17th 2012

Well it was prob about 2am before we fell asleep as its very loud with cosntant honking outside our bedroom window. Oh yes, and then the call to prayer at 4:30am was something unreal. I dont know how these people can stand being woken up like this. On top of the normal call across the city- we actually have a mosque right outside our bedroom window with speakers blaring directly at us....meant for the rest of our neighbourhood to hear. It seemed to go on forever and once it was over, we were so awake that it took us forever to fall back asleep again after 5am or so. We had the alarm set for 9am for breakfast as it was included with our extra night accommdation that we'd booked. At breakfast we met 3 other ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo » Nasr City March 16th 2012

So excited to start this next adventure to Egypt! This is a first time for me being on a Contiki with my boyfriend so we are interested to see how we the group dynamic will work with us, etc. We booked flights with KLM so normally flights connect quickly in Amsterdam and continue on but we purposely booked flights with a 10 hour layover in Amsterdam so that I can see the city for myself! We boarded our flight from Toronto last night about 6:30pm. Not sure how many hours I slept but I did manage to pass out for a good portion of the 7 hour flight to Amsterdam. I am not going to blog about my Amsterdam sightseeing but the gist of it is that we walked the majority of the time; saw the ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi May 18th 2011

Up at 7:30am for my 8am transfer to the airport. One of the other girls was also on my flight to Hong Kong so we shared a transfer to the airport. I cried when I sat down on the plane as I hate to have such fun journeys come to an end. Reality starts to sink in when you are on a plane home, but I have tons of memories from this amazing trip that will stick with me forever!... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay May 17th 2011

Woke up to Emmo knocking on all of our doors for a breakfast call. We went for an early morning kayak adventure in the bay. I asked Grant to paddle me along cuz I was feeling tired and needed a strong boy to paddle me along. It was so hot and sunny out. We paddled to a spot where there are monkeys hanging out on the cliffs. We all took bananas from breakfast and brought them to feed the monkeys and they came right up to us. So amazing! Got back and tried to sun tan on the boat but Emmo gathered us all together for a speech. He mentioned a nice comment about every single person on tour and got all sentimental; handed out our group photos and handed out envelopes so we could all ... read more

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