Cairo, Giza, Aswan, Luxor & Dahab Egypt

Trip Start Feb 01, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Monday, September 17, 2012

I arrived in Cairo to find out I didn't have a transfer to my hotel ( I booked it too late) so I found a driver who spoke English and got the 1 hour ride to my hotel for 140 EP or $23.00 US, not bad so off we went. My room actually has a view of the Pyramids, it's awesome.

My fist day I decided to see the Pyramids, so I walked to the entrance, but got lost, Then I see these two guys on Camels and decide to follow them, this guy comes running out to see if I want to do the Camel Ride, I say yes, but I have to find the ATM first, so he says he will take me to see the Pyramids, and then to the ATM, so off we go. It was really so much fun to ride the Camel, we rode for almost 3 hours, got great shots of me and my Camel, And then we ended it by taking me on a Camel run through the desert. My Guide was married with two kids, but kept trying to get me to marry him, ( totally nuts) I thought he was just flirting and had a language barrier, but his Dad started doing the same thing, that's when I realized they were serious, and I high tailed it out of there. The Men here are extremely forward, yesterday the 2nd day I went downtown Cairo to explore to spice markets this guy starts taking to me in English and he says I need to see a different part of the Market, he showed me his ID ( I'm sure I looked apprehensive) turns out he works for US Embassy :)

He spent the whole day showing me around and negotiating prices on everything for me. Then he asked what I was doing the next day, he insisted I meet him and he would show me some other great places. Then he proceeds to tell me his brother has an apartment in Alexandria, and WE could stay there for two dayswhen I get back from Aswan and Luxor.... I'm totally amazed that these guys would actually think after 4 hours, I'd actually go away with them, crazy!!!!

Either way, I did not show up for our second meeting.

Aswan was fun, I rented an entire Felucca for two days to sail up the Nile River, 150 EP :) that was amazing until my guide tried to make a move on me, OMG, i cant believe how forward the men are here. It was funny at first but now it's just Gross!
We stopped each day to visit several Ruins from Cleopatras time, visited a Nubian family who kept Crocodiles as pets in their house :)
And swam in the Nile River.

Then off to Luxor, this was a great City, my driver picked me up and immediately asked me if I was single, I said yes ( big mistake) and it was on... He took me to a great dinner and kept introducing me as his wife, kept saying how we were both single and should keep each other company, (Nooooo) so I revised my answer I told him I was dating someone back in the USA , but not married) he said we should make him jealous...after dinner I went straight back to my hotel, ( he wanted to go dancing) I politely said no.

The next day i woke up at 4 am for my Hot Air Balloon Ride to see the sunrise over the Valley of The Kings, it was amazing, it was my first Balloon Ride and it was spectacular, we came down the first time about 50 minutes into the flight but landed in a sugar cane field so they asked the pilot to go back up and land near a road so we could be picked up, so up we went, then it got windy and the wind carried us for almost an hour in the wrong direction, our balloon wouldn’t land so he tossed down a rope and they tried to pull us down and failed twice, so we ended up getting over 2 hours in the air till we could land safely it was so great, we also saw an amazing sunrise. When we landed the crew got me and said my car and guide were waiting for me, my Guide was Peter, ( he was amazing) very professional and never out of line.
He took me to 3 ancient sites that day, walked with me and explained the history and significance of things we were looking at. He always gave me time alone to explore, he knew his stuff, so at the end of the trip I asked him to call Adel and tell him I wasn't feeling well and didn't need a driver for the rest of the day. ( I was really too tired to deal with more shit from some guy wanting a green card) the men here are way to forward, he asked to speak to me, so I told him I was tired and didn't need a driver and I would stay in for the rest of the day.
He spoke to Peter again and asked Peter to tell me to think about it.

I decided to walk to the market, where I met another guy (Muhamad) he started talking to me as I continued walking, (the men here just start walking with you, and don't leave) so after an hour of walking and talking to him ( in that hour he invited me to go back to his house for lunch) I politely said no and told him I had to go, I couldn't shake this guy, he was polite but I wanted time alone, something I have not been able to get here in Egypt. I literally had to go back to my hotel to be alone.... So I stayed there till dinnertime and left to get dinner.

The next day Peter picked me up at 9 am, he took me to 2 more sights Karnak and Luxor,
My computer crashes so he also took me to get it fixed... We had a nice lunch together and I tipped him very well. I also asked him to call Adel and tell him I didn't need him to drive me anywhere and that I would be ready at 6 pm to catch my train. He showed up at 6 and was not happy, he kept saying he was worried about me, because the guy at the front desk said I left with a guy on a motorcycle, ( my computer repairman ) I told him I was fine, then he proceeded to say how we were two single lonely people who didn't have to be lonely..... Ughhhh... This wasn't even flattering anymore it was almost insulting. He took me to the train station and off I went.

Back to Giza, I did the Pyramids again. Then off to Cairo to see the Cairo Museum, it was massive but such chaos, so many things not marked, 60% of the items had no description at all, it was 60 EP $10 to get in, no cameras allowed, the highlight was seeing all the items taken from King Tuts tomb, and the actual Mack he wore and the coffins (4) he was buried in, the museumis a must see even with all the Chaos.

I hopped on a 9 hour bus ride that turned in to 11 hours with at least 7 checkpoints, where armed guards came on and looked al all our passports, in great detail there was heavy security on most stops with men on rooftops with machine gums, very unnerving. But made it to Dahab, once I arrived they told me there was a change in plans and that I would have to climb Mount Sinai that night, because the Monastery would be closed on Sunday, I also had to do my Blue Hole snorkeling that day, so off I went, the snorkeling was amazing, so many colors and coral it was gorgeous, The Blue hole is considered one of the most dangerous dive spots in the world, 30 people a year die there, it's a technical dive called the Arch, 53 meters deep, you have to dive with two Nitro's tanks most people die because they try to do it with one tank. After lunch and snorkeling, i went back to the hotel, was able to get 2 hours sleep but got up at 10 pm to get ready for my hike up mount Sinai.

Below are some pictures of the spectacular Sunrise on top of Mount Sinai this morning, or "Moses Mountain" which is the other name used here in Egypt. It is said this is where Moses accepted the 10 Commandments from God. Mount Sinai is 2,285-metre (7,497 ft), It took us 2 Hrs and 50 Minutes to climb to the top, it was truly the hardest climb I have done so far (since I am not a hiker this will not surprise you) We started at Midnight, our driver picked us up and drove us 2 hours to Mount Sinai, he let us off at the base of the mountain at 2 AM, It was dark and we didn't have flash lights, but the moon was very bright so we could see our way pretty good. It was cold, and windy but once we started walking it got warm pretty fast. I was with 6 other people who were staying across form me in Dahab, (all Americans going to School here in Cairo) they were really nice, and funny, our guide had us walking and climbing part of this mountain in complete darkness, (we did not follow the normal path until the end of the walk) he was an hour late getting us so we had to scale part of the mountain, to get us to the top before sunrise, that was the hard part, but he was a good leader and we made due, we stopped periodically for breaks (which we all needed) it truly was a difficult climb. I am very glad I did it, what a great feeling of Accomplishment and I get to knock it off my "Bucket List" :) The sunrise was gorgeous, and the company fantastic, we got back to the hotel around 12:30 PM I went across the street bought 2 bananas and an apple , then went straight upstairs and took a long hot shower, jumped in bed and got on FB, made a few calls to let everyone know I was fine, I ate my dinner of two bananas and the apple, and was asleep by 7 pm, I woke up at 4:30 am I was so tired, I never sleep like that but my body was exhausted and needed to charge up. I got out of bed around 7 am got ready and had a great breakfast on the ocean, then had 2 dives scheduled, The canyons and Ricks Reef, did both dives them went back to my hotel to do my last camel ride in Egypt, I was given camel milk, I heard it was very healthy for you, it was pretty salty, I wouldn't drink it again :) but glad I tried it.

I decided to go to dinner and went to a chicken place, the guy who owned the travel agency I went to earlier that day sat down next to me to have dinner too, so we started taking he was pretty interesting, he set me up with a private car to pick me up the next day to take me to the boat docks in Nuebia (told me how to purchase the ticket to Aqaba) and then get to Jordan, we had a great evening talking about Christianity and the Quran...

Camel Ride 120 EP / $20.00
Entrance to Pyramids 60 EP / $10.00
3 day Trip to Dahab $130 / 710 EP
2 Private Dives The Canyons & Ricks Reef $63 /500 EP
Cairo Museum $10 / 60 EP
Ferry to Aqaba $58 / 460 EP
Private car and driver $20 / 160 EP (1:30 hr)
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