18 – Sailing across the Lake Nasser

14th Dec, xxxhrs, Boat to Wadi Halfa

I took the “yellow train” at the train station (1.5 EGP), a half hour ride to As-Saad Al-Aly, which is the High Dam. I had to be there by 10am. In the train, met Kang from China. When we asked what time the boat leaves, its around “4pm if you are lucky, maybe 6, maybe 7. But be there by 10am”. Nice. We got on the boat at 10am, together with the rest of the foreign travellers. There were 8 vehicles aboard 2 pontoons, that would arrive a day after the main boat reaches Wadi Halfa, the border town in Sudan. The 2nd class travellers like me staked a place on the deck of the boat, since it was stuffy below. I had a good sleeping bag, so got myself a prime corner on the deck.

The trickle of local Egyptians started filling up the deck grew larger and larger till it looked like a mini refugee camp, with luggage occupying every single open spot. I waited for 6 hours for them to load goods up the pontoon: everything from metal sheets, refrigerators, crates of apples, stacks of god-knows-what. The way they area throwing everything in, I have no idea how, or even how long, they will get everything back out.

The boat fee came with 1 meal. Which was pretty good, except for the small cockroach in the 2nd class dining area that flew into my potato curry.

Now then, when you get stuck on the same boat with maybe 300 people for 16 hours plus another 8 hours of waiting for the boat to set sail, you start to get acquainted with a few people. There were the Irish and Australian duo Andy and Z, Ben from Belgium, a Japanese guy, Kang the China dude, plus a whole host of Egyptians with similar names like Mohamed, Amr etc. I think most of the Sudanese were below deck. In fact, the deck got so crowded and I had to share my groundsheet demarcated area with an Egyptian guy. Who was a jolly fellow and took care of me. Before long the surrounding area around were all locals. They shared their food, I had bread and cheese for dinner, and for next day’s breakfast. For supper, another guy had plastic bags full of loaves and offered me two and an egg. I was pretty stuffed on the boat. Had many conversations here and there, half of them one-way conversations with me shaking my head “laa’ afham”. There was nothing much to do after it got dark, so off to bed I went.

Was woken up by the local beside me and sent down below to get my passport stamped. They took my temperature, i filled up some papers. Little was I to know it was only the beginning of all the paperwork.

It was a bit cold at night, even inside my sleeping bag. I feel asleep counting shooting stars under the star-lit sky.

17 – Abu Simbel and then beyond…

13th Dec, 1900hrs, Nubian Oasis Hotel, Aswan

Again, no photos for this post yet. I am not on wifi instead am in the hotel lobby using the land line. Can’t be bothered to go up and dig out the cable to transfer pic. Just had a quick dinner, liver falafel (3 EGP each). Tomorrow morning I make my way to the Aswan dam (1.5 EGP by yellow train, sets of at 8am, to As-Sad Al-Aly, which means High Dam).

Started the day at 3am for the tour pick up. For once I am going with a tour (60 EGP for transport). The ticket to Abu Simbel is another 90 EGP. But the place is 260km south and takes 20 EGP each way by public bus. Which can take 4 foreigners only, and they’ll subjected to passport checks etc. So I just topped up another 20 EGP to avoid the hassle and join the tour

I packed the hotel breakfast and off we go. 8 in the minivan. We had to travel in a police convoy, after incidents in the 90s and the recent 2005 Cairo attacks. So the trip would be around 3 hours there, 2 hours to sightsee, and 3 hours back. Trip there, I slept more than I talked, the Canadian guy had one nice quip. We were talking about ancient sites like Abu Simbel built by Ramses II when he mentioned he was in Singapore before. He asks a Singaporean local if he can see an ancient building. Fella brings him to some  building that is 50 years old. Ancient indeed! =)

Reached Abu Simbel, and was greeted by the 4 giant figures of Ramses II. The temple itself was moved block by block to the current location after the High Dam was created. The dam, which eliminates the Nile’s level’s flooding unpredictability, also created the world’s largest artificial lake, Lake Nasser. To prevent the ancient temples by the river from being submerged, Abu Simbel and 9 other sites were moved. The Nubian villages along the river also had to be relocated.

The sight itself was spectacular, but like I mentioned, I was having monument fatigue so I did a quick 1hr 15 min loop and returned to the minivan. Returned to the hotel, did laundry (yes I do laundry) before taking a short nap. Took a lovely junk food lunch of Egyptian sweet treats (10 EGP, quarter kilo, for a variety of sweet cakes)

Woke up and made my way to Elephantine Island by public ferry (1 EGP). Aswan is lovely. The felucca captains along the corniche, even when asking you whether you want felucca rides, are not pushy. And I had more interesting conversations and small talk with locals here than anywhere else in Egypt. Even sat down with them while they were making the felucca sail (see pic above). On Elephantine Island, walked around the southern part, in the Nubian village. I think the Nubians are friendly and were actually more interested in getting to know you than getting a buck out of you. Of course, there is the offer to show me around or ride a felucca. But after I declined the conversation can still go on.

I have some really great sunset photos of the Nile overlooking Aswan and Elephantine Island that I will post the next time I get connected. In the meantime, off to Wadi Halfa I go. Tomorrow should be interesting. I’ve met some groups going across Africa on 4×4 and will be on the boat with them.

16 – Into Aswan

12th Dec, 1030hrs, Nubian Oasis Hotel, Aswan
I’m in Aswan now, much more laid back than busy Cairo or tourist filled Luxor. There’s plenty to see here too, but it just seems that life moves at a slower pace. The hotel is above the souq, i can here the goings-on below.

Left Luxor early in the morning, took the train (44 EGP) down to Aswan. I can do minor conversation with sign language now, haha. Plus a few others like ‘good morning’. When I do that everyone assumes i can speak Arabic. This one lady launched into a conversation with me. It was pretty much one way, with me nodding every other sentence. LOL. Sat with her at the train, she was still going on and on. But when the train finally left, she was crying softly to herself. Must have left someone dear back at Luxor.

Reached Aswan around noon and oriented myself to the town. Didn’t take long to find the Nile Navigation Company. Actually met the Salah Takourney guy there, the one i’ve been emailng. Got my 2nd class tickets at 311 EGP. First clas was 489 EGP.

Went along the souq road till I found Nubian Oasis. The guys back at Boomerang recommended this hotel. At 25 EGP including breakfast for a room with shared bathrooms, it was a pretty good deal. Took a nap, didn’t sleep enough recently. Evening time, went out to get dinner (Egytian pizza, big portion, 30 EGP). Also, I joined the tour to Abu Simbel. Will wake up at 3am for the journey there.

Ps. no photos yet. I’ll update when I have time. Rushing these two posts cos I’ll be off to Sudan next. edit: one photo i finally managed to upload!

15 – Into the Valley of the Kings

12th Dec, 0030hrs, Boomerang Hotel, Luxor

Woke up early today, rented a bike from the hotel (10 EGP) and set off. The plan today was to go to Luxor’s west bank, taking the public ferry. From there I would spend the day in the Valley of the Kings. Most touristy of the sights, but probably also the best one to pick.. Today was the first time in 2 weeks I lost my temper. It seems the touts and hassling and every other person trying to fleece you is more evident over here in Luxor, even more so than back in Cairo. Karnak yesterday was not too bad.

It started with the bicycle at the ferry landing. The usual, fella pretends to be helpful, but leads me to the wrong landing, and in the process makes me go up and down 2 flights of steps carrying my bicycle. He says “you can’t take the bicycle across, see all those parked there, everyone leaves them on this side of the bank. But you can take my boat for 15 pounds”. Then I go towards the correct landing and some other guy tells me to “park my bike here, and i will look after it for you.” No thanks. Finally the guy collecting tickets tries to charge me 4 EGP for the trip and return. I said no. Then 2 EGP for me and the bike, he insisted. I argued and said I’ll ask the tourist police. He relented and let me through. 1 EGP. Locals pay even less, i believe.

The ferry ride was short, around 5 to 10 min. Got off and cycled towards the valley, an 8km ride north. It was arid, cool but the sun was up. Bring enough water, some food, shades and headgear if you intend to cycle. After about 2 km in, saw the huge twin Collosi of Memnon, greeting visitors to Luxor’s West Bank.

Along the way, got constantly hounded by cab drivers trying to take me and my bike there. At one junction, some guy blocked my way and shouted “Stop, ticket to Valley of Kings” which is ridiculous since he was sitting at a public junction. I swerved to avoid him, and crashed the bicycle. Camera flew onto the road, and I got cuts on my left elbow, and all over my right foot. I was pissed.

Reached the Valley finally, parked and locked my bike. The tourist police whose guard post happened to be beside tried to charge me 5 EGP baksheesh for it later…Doh. It’s getting ridiculous every fella who comes up to me is trying to get something out of me. I’m not being anal. In fact, i tip rather freely, even though budget is tight. But then there has to be something done to deserve the tip. Merely standing there when my bike was safe and locked, and then asking for 5 EGP, isn’t. In the end I gave him 1 EGP.

Went in (the toilet guy tried to charge me 1 EGP per entry…it should be free… i offered him half pound, he said no. I walked off, he called me back) and watched the Valley of the Kings video. There’s a bunch of pharoahs buried here. For 80 EGP, you get to visit 3 tombs. I went for Ramses IV, Ramses I and Seti II. Ramses IV was the nearest to the entrance which the tour groups were going into, so i followed. Hieroglyphics on the walls, the opening of the mouth ritual, etc etc. Asked an old couple which they went to is good. They sent me to Ramses I, steep incline down but the burial chamber at the end is vividly decorated in full colour. The third tomb I went to was far back and little visited, out of the tourist radar. I read somewhere in the museum about Seti II so decided to visit. The caretaker there actually pointed out some of the murals on the walls. Tipped him a couple pounds and left. Tuthankhamen’s tomb is the most famous one in the Valley, but to visit it requires a separate 100 EGP ticket. Not worth it i think, since whatever was in there was already displayed at the museum. We can’t bring cameras in the valley. So all i got were shots of the journey there. And this below is my sketch of the insides of the tomb. =)

On the boat back, I randomly snapped a pic of myself. Looked at my foul face and laughed. I must have had that expression the entire day. It wasn’t a fantastic day. So little things like finding a shop that charges decent prices (like 2 EGP for 1.5l of drinking water) was a welcome change.

Koichi joined my dorm in the evening. I met him on the train from Cairo to Luxor. He disembarked at Aswan. And when I met him, he had, in a space of 24 hours, been to Abu Simbel in Aswan, then traveled up to Luxor. He then rushed (it was 6pm) to watch the Karnak Sound and Lights show before going to Luxor Temple. The next day, he would wake up at 5 and take the bus out to Hurghada, where he wanted to dive. Then fly out to Istanbul immediately after. Not a good idea to dive and then fly, so his plan changed to just snorkelling. Had dinner with him. The meat casserole (tagen or bot, 10 EGP) was excellent.

Tomorrow morning, the plan is to head towards Aswan by train. And get my tickets to Wadi Halfa.

I laughed at this, I look dumbass angry =)

14 – Luxor’s east bank and the Karnak Temples

11th Dec, 1140hrs, Boomerang Hotel, Luxor

Reached Luxor, at around 9am in the morning. Here in Upper Egypt, the weather for once is not teeth-chattering cold. I had time, so picked around for a good place to stay. Boomerang, around 5-10 minutes away from the train station was perfect. It’s a new 2 month old place Egyptian / Australian owned (25 EGP for dorms). Probably the best place I’ve stayed in so far. The owners were helpful and the place had a nice relaxed feel to it. I’ll probably put in a positive review at hostelworlds.com later.

View of the west bank from the corniche

Took a walk up the corniche towards the Karnak Temple. I picked that one to go to. Just looking at the map of Luxor and the surrounding areas, there’s so many sights here (looks like > 20). I’ll burn a big hole in my pocket if I go for every single one. Karnak Temple (65 EGP) is located around 3km north of the train station. I’ll do that and walk around town. Sounds like a plan.

Plenty of tourist buses here as I entered the parking area. Karnak itself is a huge series of temple ruins, covering 2 sq km. The main temple to Amun is large, with its 10 pylons and strucutures that were added on by subsquent generations of pharoahs. Couple of obelisks, one hippostyle hall, a  colonnade area, two chapels and a scarab monument later, i was done. After wowing myself silly, took a stroll back down to town.

Finally had my grilled chicken dinner at a nice restaurant outside (20 EGP). Also realised I forgot to book the ferry ticket to Wadi Halfa back in Cairo…Emailed a guy who works with the Nile Navigation Company on Thorn Tree forum and he tells me I can get tickets at Aswan (2nd class only). On saturday i will need to rush from Luxor to Aswan before 2pm when their office closes so that I can get my ticket. Oh, the guy takourny@hotmail.com really works at the place. Met him in person and got my ticket on Sat.

13 – A day at the Museum

11th Dec, 0750hrs, Boomerang Hotel, Luxor
Another backdated entry to 9th Dec: I slept in last, too tired from all the walking. Then woke up, took the metro down to Doqqi, back where the Singapore embassy is. They were quite nice, gave me my two Letters of Introduction. I bet they are thinking why this nutty guy is going to all these places. I eregistered my destinations at the MFA last night (ya finally!) on advice from the guy. No charge for the letters.

Just had to post this, wall cleaners!

I checked out, got some food, then headed for the museum around lunchtime. Since I don’t have access to my room, I planned something less strenous today. That being said, I must have spent like 5 and a half hours at the museum, milling around. Checking out the extensive exhibits. No photography here, so it’s just me taking in the sights. I’m having a bit of monument fatigue now, after the pyramids, museum, Karnak and today (11th) im going to Luxor’s west bank. It’s to much info to read up and I gave up trying to see everything like the first few days (too expensive and after a while i cant tell which monument is which.

the exterior of the museum by night

It was dark when I exited, had a bit of time, took the metro down to Coptic Cairo, but the gateway leading to the main enclosure was closed. Decided to just leave and make my way down to the train station where it is warmer.

The Cairo to Aswan train itself is comfortable, air conditioned. I initially got dumped into 2nd class, no thanks to some “helpful” guy who insisted on directing me there… wrongly. And i even paid him some baksheesh for that. But the locals there were more fun and helpful than the foreigners in 1st class. I stayed for 20 minutes on the airline seat before the correct guy came along to fill up my seat. I made my way down the cabins to the 6 in a room cabins, which were considerably more comfortable and slept.

12 – And finally…the Pyramids

10th Dec, 2030hrs, Boomerang Hotel, Luxor (this entry is backdated)

And finally, on Day 12, I visit the Pyramids of Giza, but first, I’ll talk about more interesting stuff. If there was an award for Cairo’s most prolific walker I would probably win it hands down. Over the past couple days, I have done a prodigous amount of walking. I actually like walking; you see things, you get time to think, and you burn some calories. So let’s see how much I did. Discounting the previous day’s jaunt into Islamic Cairo (3.5km), i did about 4.5km in the morning that day, and another 6km in the evening. In sandals. Yes, i think I’m crazy too.

I started the day making my way down to Ramses train station to book my ticket to Luxor (165 EGP, 1st class). They tell me it’s the same price from Cairo to Luxor as well as Cairo to Aswan. Sounds a bit dubious, and daft, since the distance to Aswan is 3 hours longer than Luxor.

Nile over Zamalek, with the Cairo tower in the background

Next, the order of the day is to go back to the Sudan embassy. Got back my passport, with the Sudan visa  =). Then I thought, hey why not go down to the Eritrea embassy and get their visa now, since I have a couple days in Cairo. So off I went on foot, across Downtown, eastwards, cutting through Zamalek and into Mohindessin districts. Which on this paper doesn’t sound like much, but is actually a heck of a long distance along the busy highway (4.5km). I collected soot and carbon along the way. Spent another half hour wandering around the preported Eritrean embassy, before realizing Lonely Planet marked the wrong location (hooray for cartoony tourist brochure). At the embassy, the staff told me that I need to fill up the application form, include 2 photos, and introduction letter from my embassy and 260 EGP. It will take 2 to 3 days…Two things do not agree with me. One, I didn’t expect an LoI would be needed (no research I did mentioned this) and two, I don’t have 2 to 3 days to wait in Cairo. Thus, the staff told me I should get it in Sudan instead if I am planning to enter Eritrea from Sudan. So that was that. Anyway the info gained would help for anyone interested to apply for the visa in Cairo, I hope.

A little disappointed, I will need to go back to the Singapore embassy in Cairo the next day to get a Letter for Eritrea visa. Later that night, I would email the guys from the embassy and request for both Letters of Introduction into Eritrea and Somaliland, just in case.

Next, determined not to waste the rest of the day (it was around 1pm), I flagged a metered taxi (these are less of a hassle, and there is no chance of me paying prices like 50 EGP for a cab ride back when I was a newbie in Egypt). I didn’t take the buses, or microbuses, cos I just didn’t understand them or the complex hand-signals the locals used to indicate where they want to go. For example, a raised palm rotated “television Kumar’s banana hello” in Alex indicates I want to go to the bus terminal. I’ve also seen “cat tickling” , “3 finger ok” indicating some other place. And the hand signals are not limited to bus hailing either. Asking for the bill is a T shape with a cutting motion. Another one is pursing all your fingers in one hand together and point upwards, reminiscent of the “italian ?caso?”. I have a hunch it means the same thing too. =P.

Pics with me inside, by demand =P

Back to the taxi. A half hour ride from Mohandinsen to the Giza Pyramids is 25.75 EGP. Tipped the driver since he put me right in front of the quieter of the two entrances into the site, away from the touts. Surprisingly not that many tourists as i expected. Maybe because it was late afternoon, or because the place was big enough to accomodate the busloads. I looped around Cheops and Khefu, lingering at the Sphinx. And avoided the constant camel ride men with their “where are you from” and  “you know how much?”. Accosted by camel guy who was probably more alarmed when I gave a distressed look after he attempted to put on his kuffiya on me for a picture.

On the way back, got redirected by the police to the entrance without the public buses. Not sure why, but I ended up walking the whole stretch of Al-Ahram Road (Pyramids Road). That’s about 6km eastwards. I had time, so just walked through the Giza suburbs, checking out the hotels and department stores along the way. Eventually I would reach the Giza metro station. From there, its easy to get back from. Alternatively, instead of walking, the price to take any of the buses on that stretch is 1 EGP, just as for Giza square / metro. I think all the buses go straight till there.

Came back near the hotel. Caught part of Al-Ahly vs Zamalek, the local derby match where all the Cairenes sit and watch (its like Pool vs Everton etc). I washed up; I was covered in sand and soot.

11 – Navigating Cairo

9th Dec, 0040hrs, New Palace Hotel, Cairo
The problem with this hotel room is that it is a bit cold since the underside of the two doorways that lead out to the balcony are not sealed. This also means that mosquitoes are attracted to the warmer room and somehow find their way in. Add to that the fact that it will be way too cold if I do switch on the fan, the end result is that I am mosquito food tonight.

I’ve taken to all sorts of ways to carry my maps around to help me navigate the streets of Cairo. I have a tourist map in my pouch, cartoonish but all the street names are there. I don’t want to lug my thick LP around, so i’m taking pics of the maps i need with my digicam. I also occasionally bring my netbook. I’ve gotten access to a softcopy Egypt guide thanks to a traveller i met and i refer to it on my netbook.

The first order of the day would be to visit the Sudanese embassy. With my Letter of Introduction tightly grasped in my hand, I headed down Midan Tahrir. This was the first time I was in Downtown proper, all the while I have been at the northern end around Midan Arabi where this hotel is. Needless to say I got lost, which would be a common occurence over the next couple of days. The Sudanese embassy is a nondescript office. I got in queue, filled up my app with 2 photos, 2 copies of passport, 2 copies of app form, 1 Letter of Introduction and 100 USD. “Come back next day at 10am”. Phew, relief as I’ll get the visa within 24 hours. I’ve heard other nationalities wait really long for theirs. Went back to hotel via the Metro (Sadat to Attaba). The good thing about the metro is that it is clear and non-confusing and only 1 EGP any distance. Much less stressful than riding on the Cairo roads in my opinion.

Cairo roads: I’m going to digress a little and talk about the roads. There are always traffic jams. I have taken photos where cars are locked bumper to bumper and everyone is just honking away. The other thing is that no one really follows traffic lights. Cars criss cross junctions and turn into side lanes. Once in a while you have a policeman trying to control traffic at a 4-way junction. Trying to cross the road is like playing frogger. Whenever there is an opening, jump through. The cars (most of them) slow down for you. What i do is not hesitate and just go, sticking down my palm like a primary school kid crossing the road. After a while, it comes naturally.

Around 1pm, off I go again, this time to Islamic Cairo. It is around a 2.5km walk down from Attaba Metro exit where 26th of July ends and Al Azhar road begins. The crowd changes as I walked from Downtown area to Islamic Cairo. Roads get more haphazard. New smells greet me, and the downtown buildings give way to minarets and arches. Found the famed Al-Azhar university and mosque. It’s the second oldest continuously running uni in the world. Wandered into the university and even into the buildings. It feels very much like any other uni out there. There’s a lot of foreign students too, judging by the number of non-Egyptian faces. Went into the mosque, did my Asar there, and just sat around for a bit admiring the architecture.

After that, crossed the road to check out Khan Al-Khalili. It was all tourists being badgered by vendors. So after a half dozen “laa’ shukran”s, i changed direction and headed south instead. I’ve decided the best way is to do a no thank you and smile. Or if it’s an obvious overpriced knick knack i dont need, just add a wink and walk off. Found myself on the road leading to the twin minareted Bab Zuwayla gate. The whole stretch was filled with locals shopping and buying stuff. After which, realised it was already dark, and despite there being a ton more things to see here, I decided to call it a day and head back.

Tomorrow’s (8th Dec) agenda would be getting my train tix, going back to the Sudan embassy, and the pyramids. Signing off: Red (aka mosquito food)

ps. if you are reading this from facebook. Do take a look at the actual blog at http://furiouspanda.blogspot.com as well. The header pic is lovely, and the videos actually work over there.

Interlude: Food in Cairo

After more than a week in Egypt, I am finding my way around with the Egyptian street food. Here is a sampling.

Kushairi –  Like i mentioned, i cannot really take too much of this tomato paste, rice, spaghetti, macaroni, lentil combo. Tried it twice (the second time with non-existent minced meat in Dahab for additional 4 EGP!). But it is cheap and filling 3 EGP upwards for small to bigger sized cups.

kushairi – looks like leftover food, but surprisingly filling 

Ta’miyya – This is the Egyptian term for falafel, which is fried chickpeas and fava beans. It tastes great, is filling and cheap. One falafel in a pita is around 1 EGP, add in 0.5 pounds with an egg. I can eat these all day and be happy. Except this one time I was eating one while surfing and the Internet got cut off. Page not found. There I was stumped, with bits of falafel on my shirt. I call it a “Felafel 404” situation.

Shawarma sandwiches – These are a bit like your Subway sandwiches. Meat slices spiced perfectly and stuffed into the french loaf. It’s a miracle i have not succumbed to the runs, I had so much of roadside 2 EGP (one in Alex bus station came with great spicy pickle combo) over the first few days when it was all i knew how to order. These days I’m a pro =) Depending on how big your sandwich is, it ranges from 2 to maybe 7 EGP, i think. I’ve seen shops selling at 20 EGP too.

street shawarma, with torshi

Kofta sandwich – This is similar to the previous, except the kofta is a minced meat spiced and clumped up into sausage shapes. Same price too, and really tasty. Just pop into the shop selling, order yours, pay, get the receipt, and go to the serving counter to exchange for your sandwich.

Hummus – These dips are lovely. Whether with tahina, olive, chick peas, or other dips which are equally tasty though i have no idea what they are. Taken with flatbread.

Bread with cheese – It is just frenchloaf, with dollops of cheese and sugary liquid (jam?) inside. Yummy breakfast at 1 EGP or less.

Rice with milk – This is dessert. Mine was 1.25 from a shop in the wall. Served cold, it is VERY sweet but very satisfying.

Fresh fruit juice – Everywhere juice sellers will serve fresh fruit juice. I’ve had sugar cane at 1 EGP and orange juice at 3 EGP (tourist trap zone at Islamic Cairo!) They can mix up and there’s a special mix of fruits too.

Halawa Bars – This is technically not street food, but it deserves a mention. I am a halawa junkie now. These cost 0.5 EGP and are bought off the grocery marts. After I finished my muesli bars from home, these halawa bars take their place. I have lots in my pack now as emergency food. True, they are meant to be eaten with bread, but packed in these bars, they are so convenient. And fattening (100g contains 469 calories, 183 of those from Fat)

Halawa bars and tahina dip
Bakeries – I ‘ve yet to try them but there are bakeries serving various types of bread all around.

Roasted chicken – I’ve wanted to try these since Dahab, but never got around to having them. Those in Dahab were apparently overpriced and for the one i wanted to try yesterday in Islamic Cairo, the fella was bugging me with his “5 pounds for a photo” routine…Maybe I’ll have pigeon too.

Of course, there’s other stuff like shish kebabs, shish tawooks but those everyone knows =)

Here’s a good post with pics of some of the above. I never got round to photographing most of the food.

There you have it, a selection of street food i have been gorging myself upon. I daresay i am gaining weight here!

10 – Slow day by the Red Sea

6th Dec, 2000hrs, 7Heaven, Dahab
Did not do much at all. The most exciting thing i did today was to try and bargain for a tshirt that i didn’t buy. In the early part of the day, woke up and took a walk north up the coast. Never did have the chance to do that during the last couple days. Took in the early morning sea breeze. In the afternoon, ate a good meal at Napolean’s just outside, for a second time we got a “30% discount”. But the food was good, for 25 EGP, we get hummus for starters, rice and meat, plus desert and drinks. 930Pm, bade farewell to the crew at 7Heaven. They all seem to be linked. The 7Heaven Hotel, the Dives Down Under outfit, the Internet shop beside it, the tour agency near the exit and the Seven Heaven Chinese Restaurant. Off I go back to Cairo. Busy few days coming up.

The bus from Dahab is 90 EGP (plus the hotel does transfers to the bus station for 10 EGP extra, and you need it cos it is quite far away) but it drops you at Abbassiya station in Cairo, which is in the middle of nowhere for travellers. Ask to drop at the city center (downtown).

Finally, here’s a video of Siwa town by dusk that I managed to upload.
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