Luxor Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
Now I do have the tummy bug but the Imodium seems to be winning finally. After the Edfu Temple we re-board, receive fragrant, moist, hand towels to refresh ourselves at reception then we head up to the top deck to watch some more of the Nile passing as we steam on to our departure stop arriving just before lunchtime. A mini bus takes us to the hotel in about 30 mins and the Felluca guys are just ahead of us. Using our free time we head out into the streets with Mel and Katrina to a chemist we saw nearby to top up on supplies for India. I need more Imodium, sterile water for irrigating Andrew's wound, more disposable gloves and we find them all. Mel has a list of drugs for her boyfriend's Mum and no prescriptions are needed here. They buy up all the valium they can get for 'just in case' needs! Then the guy offers us Viagra thinking he is on to a really big sale.
The four of us set out to find the markets or bazaar and the heat just knocks us about. We get hassled just a bit by taxis and horse drawn carriages but march on. Meet a couple coming towards us who happen to be Aussies and we ask for directions. They advise us to stay out of the markets as there is some sort of a celebration going on and there is a wall of jostling men. They mentioned watching from the window of McDonald's in the air-con so we march on to that. When we get there, a security guard tells us there is 'no electric' so there is no air-con going though we stop for a breather.
Now, the driver wants to know how many camels he is prepared to accept for titian haired, Mel. She thinks around 1,000 would be a good price and the driver asks her the colour of her eyes and tells her that he loves blue eyes. The driver has worked out that he will borrow the camels from a very good friend, marry Mel come to Australia and work very hard and send back the money for the camels.
In the evening 6 of us have opted to see the Karnak Temple by night with the sound and light show. It is an English spoken version and is very good.
The Luxor hotel is as good as the Giza one and we enjoy. Next morning a large group from the tour get up at 4 am to go hot air ballooning. We don't and sleep on until the 6am wake up call, then at 7am are bussed out to the Valley of the Kings where we meet the balloonists. At the Valley of the Kings Rasha takes us in via the little train carriages and gives us a run down on what has been found and what is still being discovered.
From here we bus on to Al-Deir Al-Bahari Temple in the Valley of the Queen which was built for the only Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut. Cleopatra was a queen but she was Greek. There was another Queen but Rasha dismisses her as she said that she did nothing for Egyptian people when she ruled. Hatshepsut's husband was King but when he died his main wife had only born him daughters so Harshepsut, being one of the secondary wives had one of her sons marry a daughter of the Primary wife to give her full royal status and ruled as a regent for her son. Harshepsut liked people to think of her as a man and had her sculptures giving her the darker skin of a male ( men worked outdoors so got a tan while women worked indoors and stayed pale) and male dress and body adorned with her feminine face.
We just made it up the three levels of terraces in the heat and a local took my scarf and made it into a traditional head dress replacing it on my head, then of course asked for 'baksheesh'. On to an alabaster workshop to see how it is worked, given a glass of mint tea and here I found my little statue of God Horus. They throw in complimentary beads and scarab beads after you have bargained the price. Bargaining sample -- price asked when they finally pin you down as to whether you want just the one piece you are holding and what currency you wish to pay in ( time to size you up) in this case was 100 Egyptian pounds, we say no, too much, they say but it is granite or alabaster or whatever and is the God Horus, we say too much. They say how much will you pay we say 30 EP they laugh.
Back to the Luxor Hotel and I am tired and decide not to eat just drink juices and the afternoon's visit is the Karnak Temple ( which we did at the night show) and one more temple. I decide not to do it while Andrew goes off with those who are doing it. Use the Internet for a cheap rate of 40EP for an hour then settle in to read in the huge lobby with bottle of water and juices. On Andrew's return we go up to one of the two rooms allocated to the tour to shower or recover in and we have quite a few down due to the tummy bug. Dress Andrew's wound then meet a dozen of the tour group for an Italian meal in one of the restaurants.
Once back in the fabulous Cataract Pyramid Hotel we are off to see the sights of Cairo.
Back at the hotel we say goodbye to all the group except Gabby and Josie as we will be going to Alexandria early next day with them while the rest will be checking out to return home or on to new adventures.