Oh! My Poor, Poor Legs!!!!
Trip Start Nov 09, 2008
12Trip End Nov 19, 2008
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As we prepared to check out of St Catherine, my overstrained body was really feeling the impact. It's like a whole lifetime of not exercising being lumped into that 6 hours, I limped onto the van and Mustafa is grinning sheepishly , probably very happy that he didnt go up with us. It's a long drive back to dusty, crowded Cairo and most of us were tired and our leg muscles ached. Coming in and out of the van became such a chore. Mustafa and Mahmud kept chuckling. I have definitely given them much to laugh and talk about.
Nora tried to check with Mona about my request to detour and take the bridge over the Canal instead of the tunnel. For whatever, reason, they wouldn't take the route and so we went back the same way and straight to the airport to take a flight to Aswan.It was a late flight i.e 10.30 pm and so it means at least a 3 hours transit at the airport. We said our good byes to our guide and especially to Mahmud , my ever patient "personal trainer". I was actually quite fond of him as I felt he was probably the most genuine - never even expecting a tip from me for assisting me up the mountain. Despite his low command of English, he really tried to talk to us about football, Obama , everything just wanting to know us better.
We were waiting in the domestic terminal with a big group of English ??? and we stood out like a sore thumb, being the only Asian among the caucasians. They, then, left and we were still around like dufus until a guard called us and asked where we were going. We then realized that we were at the wrong area - Sharm El Sheikh and the Aswan gates were in a different area.
We were tired and didn't really feel like dinner. I managed to get Chris some hot water (paid about RM2 for hot water from the cafe) for his instant noodle and bought some sandwiches. I noticed that Egyptians would pray in a makeshift praying area facing the kiblat. Back home, the Muslims only prayed at the suraus or madrasah if they are no mosques and never in public with just a cardboard as their mat.
We finally took off and reached Aswan past 11pm. The airport is extremely empty. We are right at the south of Egypt and it is more evident that we are in Africa now. We are greeted by our guide - his English is quite good but I'm tired and I'm just nodding to everything he is saying. We took the van and are taken to the jetty to take a boat across the river. Pyramid Isis is located on an island right in the middle of the Nile. Normally, I would be excited but right then I jsut wanted to shower and get into bed.
Our guide gave me more forms to sign to check in and I'm getting creepy glances from him as why I am not travelling with my husband but only with my kids and a couple. .
Finally, we checked into our rooms and they are run down,, not well maintained and had a weird musky smell - a far cry from the Intercontinental in Cairo and even looked shabbier than St Catherine. At this point, I don't really care but just want a shower and sleep. Tomorrow is but another day...