Tummy woes

Luxor Travel Blog

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He tied my scarf, posed for a pic then asked for 'Baksheesh' (tip)

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.

into the Valley of the Kings at 52oC
  We decline but on a second visit next day I get offered ladies Viagra along with my purchase of sterile wipes and decline the offer of the Viagra too!

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.

in one of the tombs
  Katrina tells us she wants to get a horse drawn cart back and will pay so we go back to the stand and she stoically bargains for one at 5 Egypt pounds.  As we are riding back the driver asks Andrew how many wives he has and Mel, who gets hassled everywhere by the locals, jabs him in the ribs and he tells him he has three.  The driver persists and asks him which his favourite one is and after a lot of thought he tactfully chooses me!

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.

the carvings in the temple
  Mel shrinks into the corner and we get out at the hotel declining to give the driver extra for the horse!

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.

more of the columns
  This is where Tutankhamen's famous tomb was found un-touched.  Only two months ago another was found and it is believed that it is a cache where mummies, their afterlife accompaniments and offerings were stored for safe keeping while their tomb was being prepared.  Many mummies were found here just jumbled in and it was right in the  middle of two massively visited tombs on the main thoroughfare by foreign archaeologists.  We have an hour to visit whichever tombs we want to and Andrew and I chose Ramses III, Ramses VIIII and one whose name escapes me.  It is so hot in this valley and I hear it reached 52o C while we were there.  One of the tombs required climbing up a ladder then travelling down passage ways into the sanctuary.
a more fun group to travel with you couldn't find. Shoes off in the Cairo Mosque
  Some had carvings in the walls, some had highly decorated paintings of many colours on the walls.  Different dynasties, different styles.

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.

inside the Cairo Mosque

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.

a fraction of Cairo
We walk away, they drop to 50EP we say no thanks and eventually they drop to 30EP.  Now this is probably still not the lowest they would go to but we all end up happy!

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.

this baker made the most delicious flat bread I have ever tasted at the Pyramids Cataracts Hotel
  Leave the hotel late at night for the railway station at Luxor.  It is newish looking and under construction but .later I see many others at the same state of incompletion.  Our train is due to arrive at 11.45pm but is about an hour late.  Andrew's seat back doesn't lock in anywhere and would have ended up reclined on Josie's lap so he does a swap.  Through the night I get a succession of people trying to sit in his seat and having to explain that Josie doesn't want them on her knees every time they lean against the seat. Just cannot last the journey without one visit to the toilet but my tummy bug is under control or it could have been worse. 

Once back in the fabulous Cataract Pyramid Hotel we are off to see the sights of Cairo.

An Egyptian pipe band at the night show at the pyramids
  The motley band of musos who hang out at the door of the hotel spring into life as we arrive and depart cutting off the music once we are on board the coach!  We visit the Citadel, the Hanging Church, the mosque, go past the City of the Dead.  It is really one gigantic cemetery that people began to live in in the early 1970's.  They have built houses on top of the tombs which they will never own.  There was a huge problem with sanitation  and now they have water and electricity piped in.  The population of the City of the Dead is now 5,000,000!  Rasha thinks that one day the government will one day demolish the illegal dwellings once they can find alternative accommodation for them.  We ask about the multi-storey dwellings that mostly seem unfinished.
the sphynx at the light and sound show
  She tells us that families own the plot of land it is built on and they build several storeys but only finish off the floor they live in.  As their children grow up and marry, they move into the floors above and finish them off too.

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.


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He tied my scarf, posed for a pic …
He tied my scarf, posed for a pic…
into the Valley of the Kings at 52…
into the Valley of the Kings at 5…
in one of the tombs
in one of the tombs
the carvings in the temple
the carvings in the temple
more of the columns
more of the columns
a more fun group to travel with yo…
a more fun group to travel with y…
inside the Cairo Mosque
inside the Cairo Mosque
a fraction of Cairo
a fraction of Cairo
this baker made the most delicious…
this baker made the most deliciou…
An Egyptian pipe band at the night…
An Egyptian pipe band at the nigh…
the sphynx at the light and sound …
the sphynx at the light and sound…
photo by: LadyMaja