I was peeing when I took this.
Sure enough by the time we finished the Citadel and ate lunch, there was NOT ENOUGH TIME to see Dahshur completely. We raced out to the farthest pyramid, The Bent One. We were practically off-roading, and the bounciness got to me. We had to stop so I could water the desert. I did get a pretty good picture out of it. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the Pyramid it had been closed by the T&P police. Not ones to lose out on some Baksheesh, they did however convince us to walk around the side of the pyramid, so that we could see a mountain of rocks in the distance that was perfectly visible from the front of the pyramid. Once around the pyramid they pretty much 'forced' us to wear their hats and ride their camels for photographs.
The police AREN'T supposed to be in photographs like this. Neither are their camels.
Photographs that would cost us plenty. We gave them $200 Pounds and still they wanted more because as is often the problem, they didn't have any change to split it up amongst themselves. Tough Camel Titty. We dashed for the car with one particularly tenacious policeman still following us begging for a souvenir of America. His English was not good enough to understand that we didn't have any souvenirs of America because we had packed for Egypt with only those things we would need. We did not have spare American objects to be doling out as Souvenirs.
Jess offered the cop a handful of American change, of which he poached out all the Egyptian pound coins and most of the American Quarters. There went MY SOUVENIRS! Sean even parted with a keychain from England that he'd had for four years just to shut the guy up, though he immediately regretted it once we were underway.
I don't know why Jess is smiling. I just want to get down off this camel.
I gave him nothing but "beat it" gestures, though as we drove off, I wished I had brought my fat hat so I could have given him that and been rid of it. We had a little more success at the Red Pyramid as it wasn't due to close for another 45 minutes. Still we were spurred on by Egyptian bystanders encouraging us to hurry on up the massive staircase and into the pyramid. As with anywhere in Egypt it's hard to tell who works where and who is just acting like they do. It's that kind of dubiousness that leads to the general lawless feeling you get while visiting Egypt.
It's not that all Westerners are disrespectful, it's just that when you put an American into a situation where the authority figures mostly don't care, and the people who do care are only acting as if they have authority, than the American believes that he is in fact the authority.
Catch your breath before even walking to the entrance of this pyramid. You'll need it inside.
It's a very persistent hangover trait from our Wild West days. While it can be endearing, you don't see too many cowboys around anymore, for good reason. So we took the stone stairs two at a time, thighs burning, stopping to rest wherever we wanted, surrounded by French tourists from a bus whose driver may or may not have been the Egyptian spurring us up the hill. I was the first one down the shaft which though tiny had become 'old hat' by then. Unfortunately two little French girls were in front of me on the descent, and since not all white people speak English, they did not understand my 'tips' about going down foot over foot sideways rather than walking foot by foot backwards.
As a consequence our trip down the shaft took much longer than it should have.
Some pyramids have stairs.
Rudely passing them at the bottom, I got my group into the next chamber and up the stairs rather quickly. We climbed a handrailed tall shaft to a flight of wooden steps, and then ducked under several stone outcroppings to finally reach the main burial chamber. A chamber that absolutely reeked. I'm not sure what kind of acid smells like that, but whatever it was cannot be healthy. The French tourists who had now caught up to us were wrapping their mouths with the kerchief like hats that Saudis where. I can't remember the name right now, but I want to say keifa.
We decided that we'd rather be up and out of the pyramid rather than trapped behind the little French Girls so we beat feet back down the staircase, down the handrailed shaft, and back up what seemed to be an ever increasing ascent.
Fresh Air after a Pyramid Excursion is sweet and crucial.
I highly recommend doing Dahshur FIRST thing in your day. After having traipsed up, down and all over the Citadel, our thighs were burning and cramping on the last leg of the Red Pyramid. We almost didn't make it out. On the ride back to town, we discussed what would happen if they closed the pyramid on you. We wondered whether you could breathe the air in there for twelve hours, or whether you would have enough strength to get out after being dehydrated for that long.
But mostly we wondered whether or not Sean would get us lost again on the way to the Stables.