The flight although bumpy arrived safely. We're starting to get these continents covered now. After a bit of confusion we found our tour guide, and after a bit more waiting for a final passenger we were on our way. The bus trip to the hotel was an experience. They base their driving on the Asian model so anything goes. The theory is just honk then drive wherever you want. With no exaggeration every car has a dent or scratch. It doesn't matter the age, it is dinged up, even the nice Mercedes or Hyundai's. The best part was that we got chatting with our fellow tour people. Of course they are from Oz or NZ. They are young and we hit it off straight away.
We were dropped at our hotel and were a little dubious to begin with. The place didn't really have a front wall and there was construction happening. It was in a side street with seemingly nothing around. Not much we could do even collectively as a group. The tour leader came and introduced us to the rest of the group. There is 15 in all split between 2 groups. Our group has 7, consisting of Aussies and Kiwis and the others which will break off is a mix of Columbia and Uk. The best thing is our group is young and it's going to be a s***load of fun.
That night Jess (a young Aus) joined Jac & I for a cruise on the Nile with dinner and a show. It began with belly and normal dancers but culminated in a crazy performer that is a bit hard to explain. He was a man with different layers of dresses that spun for about 30 mins. It was crazy and we have video that we can post one day. We've never seen anything like it. For a buffet it was a great feed and we got some much needed veggies as well as tasty sausages amongst plenty more. From there it was back home and off to sleep. The hotel ended up being comfortable enough so no worries there. Think it makes a difference being in a group.
This morning we were up early for breakfast then piled on the bus. Our first stop was the oldest pyramid in the world. What better place to start. It is the stepped pyramid built by Imohep (I think, just google). We ignored the pushy street hustlers and wandered around taking plenty of snaps. Then back on the bus and off to a perfumery for lunch and a lesson in traditional Egyptian flower perfumes. They pretty much create most of the famous brands, but at a fraction of the price, so by the time we left they had made a tidy profit.
From there it was on to the most famous of them all, the pyramids of Giza. The first thing we noticed was how close to the city they are. We had expected them to be a little way out but they are right on the edge. It was a humbling thing to be standing beside them, looking up at their enormity. The 3 pyramids would be the most recognisable in the world and what you come to Egypt to see. Of course we took all the obligatory photos and really could have spent the day there. To top it off we all jumped on camels and went for a 20 mins ride between the pyramids. I have been on camels before but these were monsters. Still there's something quite relaxing about the rocking motion. So here's Jac & I, riding camels in the Sahara, between the pyramids of Giza. How freakin' cool is that? More!? Alright, back on the bus and just a trip down the road. We get off the bus and head to the embalming hall as Wally, our guide, explains it's history. From there it's through the gate and to a great view of the 3 pyramids. And there in front is the most recognisable face, well half a face, in Egypt. The Sphinx lying there in all it's glory keeping guard. Not quite as big as we had expected but just as beautiful. After seeing it in books and on tv, here we were standing face to half a face. It's a surreal experience to be there and one that will be hard to top. We were buzzing for the rest of the night about what we had seen.
Following that high it was back to the hotel for showers and dinner. Then off to the train station for a 13 hour trip to Aswan. It's going to be a long ride but after today it doesn't really matter. It's possibly one of those amazing once in a lifetime experiences. We hope to be back one day though