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Day 223 – 224 – Luxor

2nd- 3rd May 2012

sunny 40 °C

During our time in Aswan we’d become good friends with the Swiss and the Germans, but Falco and Ana had a very tight schedule and would be racing for Alexandria to rid themselves of the car before boarding a flight for Germany on Saturday. Much of the last five days had been spent lazily eating and drinking with Kurt and Susanna and we’d decided that we would travel in convoy, first to Luxor and then in a loop through the Western Desert to see the desert oases.

Redvers had actually arrived on Monday 30th April, but since the following day, Tuesday, would be a bank holiday no one had thought about unloading him, it was Wednesday afternoon by the time Kamal had helped us clear him and we were sat back inside Redvers and heading north for Luxor.

We spent four hours and over 100 speed bumps driving between Aswan and Luxor. Tired from a day spent releasing the cars and driving we enjoyed a feast laid on at the Rezeiky campsite and we drank beers, wine and a bottle of ouzo all in the name of adventure.

Egypt’s revolution and its subsequent lack of foreign currency meant that there were fuel shortages. However, Baraka, our ever helpful hotel manager was quick to help, finding out when the fuel would arrive. The next morning, after breakfast, he immediately had us, jerry cans in hand, jumping the kilometre long queue outside of the petrol station. The price was an absurd twelve English pence for one litre. Our hundred litre tank was filled for twelve pounds. We couldn’t help but smile.

We visited the temples of Luxor and Karnak which were actually breathtaking. Huge columns of stone towering above us gave a very real feeling of our being stood upon once hallowed ground. We were starting to understand the power and wealth and intelligence of the pharaohs that had commissioned such astounding structures. If only it weren’t for the fifteen million other scantily clad and ridiculously sun burned tourists. And without wanting to sound old, and even worse, prudish, the surprisingly short shorts that were sported by the female contingent whilst on holiday in a predominantly Muslim and very conservative country, seemed shorter than either of us had ever seen. How much arse must be hanging out before a pair of ‘hot pants’ become canvas bikini bottoms? And furthermore, if women are going to wear such hit or miss items, can they please not just look objectively at themselves in a full length mirror before they leave their room?

That afternoon we stocked up on beers and wine for the desert and drank freshly pressed orange juice in downtown Luxor before returning to Rezeiky to repair the once more unwindable window on Redvers and enjoy yet another feast prepared by our hosts who were only too glad to have their first tourists in four weeks. At the end of the evening, Baraka asked would we like to see his shop, which he added had been closed for months. As the lock clicked and the door creaked open, the interior of the shop appeared like a tomb, opened for the first time. A thick layer of dust covered the small golden statues of Tutankhamun and Nefertiti, embroidered garments hung from an old rail and eventually we all made ‘pity’ purchases of items we didn’t really need or want.

Posted by ibeamish 09:49 Archived in Egypt

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