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Published: April 10th 2007
Well, finally here is my first email with notes from my trip. The flight over was ok with one flight having movies on demand and then sleeping some. Didn’t get out of airport in Kuala Lumpur so spent time at Burger King adding up that I will be on flights for 123h22m that is 5d3h22m - and that is not counting the waiting in airports for 29 flights - averaging 3 hours per flight allowing for connectors, that is another 87 hours at airports! But, I am visiting every continent and 36 countries.
Had a stopover in Pakistan but didn’t get off the plane. People on plane were pretty friendly and had a scare when I woke up smelling smoke at one stage but someone was smoking in toilets.
Dubai was busy but felt safe walking around checking out some of the shops with the same hassle applied as Malaysia. Will be back at the end of Greece so will no doubt have more of an opinion then.
Arrived into Cairo and caught taxi to hotel. Driving is absolutely crazy. People stepping out in front of taxi at 80km/h. Driving with no lights on, only turning them
on to flash someone - even where there is no street lighting. They drive by sound using their horns instead of eyes. Taxis breaking down often. I had to cross a street in Cairo and had to cross 10 lanes of traffic and nearly lost my toes I think in every lane. Cairo is a city of 20 million people (apparently with only 30cm square of space each), and only 2 sets of traffic lights I saw that noone obeyed anyway. Lots more traffic police that kind of do the job. And security guards everywhere you looked. People are extremely friendly though, even when they aren’t selling anything. You always get a welcome to Egypt or Welcome to Cairo/Luxor. It is true about marriage proposals too, I ended up with five! Nearly hated Cairo because we ended up at wrong hotel and didn’t have paperwork of where we were supposed to be and had to spend 185 pounds calling home to sort it out, then had to pay another 70 pound to catch a taxi to right hotel.
Giza Pyramids were pretty awesome, sphinx was better.
Cairo museum was awesome - we had a guide and that is where
lots of King Tut’s treasures are including his death mask.
Overnight train was horrible with people smoking and me nearly choking.
Abu Simbel was awesome. I think the relocation was as impressive as the temple itself.
Aswan - best thing I remember is light show at Philae Temple.
Nile cruise - the room cleaners would make animals out of blankets and clothes left out which was really cool. Way better than Felucca for few nights, was nice to do felucca to check it out though.
Luxor was a bit of westernized city - in tourist places at least.
Valley of the Kings was pretty good - wish they had a tomb setup like they would’ve been though.
Sinai - had a sore neck that cramped every 2 mins which was very painful - even took painkillers at lunch. Nice scenery all the way. Had a guy in suit with gun and found out later it was advised to reconsider your need to travel warning especially on public holidays - we were there at Easter. Zipper broken on luggage. Then few hour hill climb waking at 1.30am to see a clouded sunrise. Didn’t see inside St Catherine’s monastery because of Easter.
Our cleaners would make animals out of clothes and towels in the room.
About a 3 Â½ hour delay at Nuweiba Port waiting for hydrofoil. Shitty couple of days really.
Different things - people cooking/carrying bread on bonnet of cars or baking in sun. Eating at cafÃ© where you walk up an alley like a dump with flies everywhere but they didn’t annoy you with fresh food. Playing soccer and tickle with kids in Nubian village. Leaving by bus in a security convoy to Abu Simbel with police or army at 3am but then arriving alone with security nowhere to be seen. Having security screening at every hotel and place with a doorway but you always beep and get waved through anyway. Seeing snake charmer at Kom Ombo temple. Playing tenpin in Luxor. Buying KFC at a restaurant where only deaf people work - in some ways was easier than broken English. People smoking everywhere you go including restaurants.
Overall I was quite sad to be leaving Egypt and when I’ve done the rest of the world I might go back.
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