Dave & Reece -Travel’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 01 Nov 2006

Location: Yorkshire - Cairo, Egypt

MapWe headed down the winding roads of Yorkshire, stone walls outlining the green rolling fields pulling over to now and again to allow another vehicle to pass through these narrow avenues. As the dark grey stone buildings flick by at an increasing rate as the small local villages join together to form towns and the reality that our journey is to turn another page becomes a reality with Manchester Airport coming into view.

Reflecting on this chapter, England is quite different from the perception and if you allow some time to explore the country lanes and villages, the vast metropolis of London and other cities are seemingly balanced by the agriculture and openness of the wilderness areas. We visited the Peak district, Cotswolds, Moors and country lanes, the best thing is the Vast network of public walkways, which allows you to walk for miles through private fields to access the more remote regions beyond.

Our stay was punctuated frequently by welcoming friends and relatives we thank you all for your hospitality and hope to see you soon again.

Our bags hit the conveyor belts and we waltz down the corridor to the awaiting plane for the flight to Cairo in anticipation of what is to come. We have joined up with Kyle for this part of the leg and his excitement is evident as he bounces off the walls looking forward to the journey.

We skip down to London and have a 2 hour stopover before heading to Cairo with British Airways and we are on our way.

The flight attendant announces she has no arrival cards for Egypt but she has arranged for them to be handed to her upon our arrival; we touch down and head off the plane without the cards,

- Welcome to Egypt-

At the arrival hall there is a scrummage at the counter for cards and bench space, having them filled in entry visas are required at US$15 each is required, I reach for my travelers cheaque and look for a bank to cash it and see that they are on the other side of immigration I ask at the counter and he points at the bank and shrugs

– Welcome to Egypt-

Heading out of the terminal the time is 12.30 pm and we are inundated with calls of Taxi, booking a fixed price Taxi we are herded toward a dilapidated piece of metal, the bags are thrown in by persons unknown until the echoing sounds of “Baksheesh” are resonating through the cab.

- Welcome to Egypt-

The taxi driver “Mohammad” squeals the tyres and we are off, with no seat belts, lights off and the window winder broken the gloom broken by the gleam of reflected light of the street lights emanating from the maniac smile of gold teeth from our new found friend. After forcing the window down to get some air I place my elbow on the sill and try for some small talk but that dries up along with my mouth as we hit traffic, all seemingly bent on being getting in front in I can't say lane, as it would normally be 3 lanes but 6 cars battle for pole position.
I retract my elbow as the hairs are scraped off by another beaten opponent sliding millimetres by. Screeching to a halt outside the Hotel, Mohammad broadly smiles and glints in the bright lights,” record time” he announces, surely that is good for some “Baksheesh”?

I can’t wait for tomorrow.

-Welcome to Egypt –

Well tomorrow arrives with a trek to the Pyramids of Giza, we get going around 11am, the new taxi driver wants 100 pounds Egyptian for a day I negotiate 60 as it is already half gone and off we go. On the way there are the customary stops at the Papyrus and Perfume shops where prices go up and down quicker than the Nile. We struggle out of the shops and say “straight to the Pyramids please” arriving at his cousin’s shop just around the corner who happens to run camel and horse treks around the pointy stones, prices start at 400 E. pounds per person and fall like a meteor when met with a less than excited response, we offer 150 for the three of us and world war three erupts.
All we wanted was to see the pyramids so we extract ourselves and walk off.

- Welcome to Egypt –

Walking through the gates the pyramids are great the sphinx is not as big as you think but the blocks on the pyramids are huge up to 12 tons each and some come from Aswan, 1000km away, while walking around a trio of Harley Davidson’s motorcycles round the corner looking just great until the last one suddenly slips side ways and sparks fly along the road, we rush to help the American rider up. He is fine and our worry turns to smirth as we realize his demise was a load of camel dung on the road causing him to slip, unhurt but pride demolished he quickly mounts up and rides away to laughter and comments of “ could you do it again, I didn’t get it on film “
After 2 hours of looking around and drinking in the enormity of the project completed over 2500 years BC that’s 4500 years ago. I still am totally in awe of the scale of this task – Simply Amazing.

We wandered back to our Taxi driver and hustle him away from his “Sheesha” (water pipe and head back to our hotel for some rest