Had a great time here in Egypt. Enjoyed the last 7 days of our tour sofar. Saw pyramids on second day - amazingly huge! just outside of Cairo. Went on a dinner cruise down the nile river, entertained by bellydancers. Very dirty in Cairo, reminds me of the streets in India, though not as smelly. Went to Egyptian museum & saw heaps of huge ancient egyptian statues & mummified animals as well as treasures the egyptians used to store in the pyramids in such good condition after 3000 years. Rode a camel ride at the pyramids in Giza, forgot how high they were. Our Egyptian tour guide has been so much fun. His name is Sherif (pronounced Sha-reef). He's a small roundish man with a goatee & made out tour an experience to remember. He taught us all how to bellydance (well his version anyway!). He wasn't a bad dancer. He was on the felluca with 9 of us girls & it was a scream. Every time we were about to arrive at our destination (ie pyramids or a temple) he would say,"Ladies & gentlemen, get excited, get ready, this the time you have been waiting for your all your lives..we are now at..." & his voice would build up until we all cheered & clapped for him. He certainly loved the spotlight. Everyone on our tour has had diarrhoea at one time or another, so the main topic of discussion seems to be everyone's bowel motions! We're all on the antibiotics. Renee & I have both had our share of the cramps.There's 4 other nurses on our tour, so everyone has been well looked after. Took an overnight train (14 hours) from Cairo to Aswan & went out one evening to a nubian restaurant (more traditional group of egyptians) very much into their old culture of singing & dancing which was quite entertaining. Seen so many temples along the way, all the old inscriptions written on the walls is so well-preserved & all the kings used to make statues of themselves so that when they died, their soul would have somewhere to come back to. One of the Kings, Ramses II made so many statues of himself! That is also the reason for mummification of their bodies & preservation. My favourite part was when we went to a place called Abu-Simbel down the south of Egypt. Although we had a wake-up call at 3:00am & a 6-hour round trip, it was an amazing temple, with statues carved into the side of the mountain. The size of the statues was absolutely amazing, made & chisled from just one huge piece of rock. Our felluca journey was also an experience, there were between 9-12 of us on each boat. A felluca is like a small sailing boat. We travelled a distance of about 45km along the nile as we were going in a zig-zag motion with the wind from Aswan to Luxor. We were on the boat for 2 nights, very relaxing, lazed around talking, reading & snoozing. There were lots of pillows & cushions to lay on. Slept under the stars both nights, but had to watch out for the mozzies. Went for a swim in the nile, very refreshing as it was so hot! The only down side to the fellucas was the lack of amenities. We had regular toilet stops on the banks of the nile but we had to watch out for the locals who might be wandering by. One time I found myself a nice little spot on the river bank & then looked up & saw a bull! Didn't feel particularly safe, but it was okay in the end he kept his distance! We always had to make sure we had a supply of toilet paper with us. The food has been really good here similar to turkey in some ways, lots of bread, falafel, chicken, rice, good coffee & looking forward to some fresh fish when we get to Dahab. Went for a ride on the donkeys when we were in Luxor. Had to catch a small boat to cross the river at 5:30 am. It is really beautiful in the mornings here as it's not so hot. All had a few laughs when we mounted our donkeys & very sore bum's after an hour but it was heaps of fun. They were generally quite obedient. One of my donkeys (on the return journey) seemed to have a mind of it's own though, he didn't like walking slowly & always insisted on trotting & randomly breaking into a gallop, so I had to pull hard on the reins a few times. I think all the locals enjoyed seeing us all riding the donkeys & were getting a good laugh out of it. We rode yesterday to a place called Valley of the Kings where there are many tombs of the ancient kings & queens, ie Ramses I, & III. The tombs were empty but the inscriptions & writing were very amazing & well preserved. Later in the afternoon went to Karnak Temple where part of an Indiana Jones movie was filmed & also Roger Moore in one of the James Bond movies too. It was so hot, one of the girls in our group was feeling quite ill & nearly fainted. Today we're in a place called Hurgada for the day then we take an overnight bus ride to Dahab (not really looking forward to the bus ride). It's our first free day & a few of us are going to wander around the streets & do some shopping.