Trip Start Oct 07, 2007
Trip End Oct 31, 2007

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Amed had quite the surprise in store for us for our trip to Dendara. He had canvassed all the other drivers while we busy in Abydos, and came up with an English-language tape. He put it in with great anticipation, and Ben and I were really intrigued. We actually really enjoyed the Arab music he had been playing, but wanted to support his effort and appreciate his thoughtfulness and effort.
We had heard all kinds of English music leading up to this point in the trip, but nothing prepared me to hear Akon blasting from the car stereo. I had a good laugh to myself, I don't think either Ben or I would have put Akon among our list of 100 artists to listen to, but the gesture was sweet, and so we listened, and sang along, for the rest of the trip, as the tape cycled through at least four times-by the end of the trip, it seemed oddly appropriate.


Dendara itself was a lot of fun. We were "picked" up pretty quick by a local guide since we were the only ones without our own guide. Seeing that he had a concealed weapon, and was actually part of the military detachment, we didn't really try to refuse him. He gave us an impressive tour, pointing out all the highlights and some of the most amazingly detailed carvings. He led us to the top of the Temple, one of the only ones whose roof is intact enough to walk around on. We also climbed below the temple into one of the crypts. Again, flashes of the Red Pyramid came back to me, but Ben went first and it turned out to be a lot easier than I first expected.

Our solider-guide waited until we were secluded, at the bottom of the dried out Sacred Lake to hint at a tip. Although tipping is very common and expected for almost every action, and all sites have local "guides," the fact that he was there on the government's dollar made his enterprise a little more risqué. We tipped him well; we know that because we later caught him bragging to a buddy.

The drive back to Luxor was
amazing, school was being let out as we drove down a main street, and hundreds of kids, in chorus, shouted and waved like we were celebrities. The sensation was a bit humbling.
We also got some amazing sunset photos.
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