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By request: some general observations

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

Taxis: we weren’t keen on trying the taxis in Egypt, as we were still intimated, not wanting to get taken for a ride (no pun intended!), and Cairo cabs in particular have a bad reputation for milking as much money out of tourists as they can. As it turned out since we booked a tour for Egypt, there wasn’t any need for them. Our first foray into Jordan proved quite manageable. We probably paid more than necessary for the ride from the ferry into Aqaba, but the driver was kind and friendly, and we didn’t feel ripped off, and that’s what really matters. We took a taxi to Wadi Rum (arranged by our tour guides there) without any trouble, and again from Petra to Dana. By the time we got to Amman, we didn’t think anything of flagging down a taxi to take us across town, especially as they are quite supposed to use their meters. A trip clear across town ended up costing us less than $4 (and this in a country whose costs are generally only slightly less than back home).

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Update from Dahab

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

No To Terrorism
No To Terrorism

Now that the original shock has worn off slightly, we have decided to try and catch the bus to Nuweiba, and then the ferry to Aqaba, Jordan as soon as we can. We’ve asked the hotel to try and get us tickets for the first bus tomorrow morning, but it seems there is quite the exodus happening here today, so we’re not sure yet if we will be able to catch that bus. We suspect that most people are heading back to Cairo, so hopefully there won’t be a problem. the schedules seem to have changed since our guide book was published, so we may or may not make the ferry connection the same day, which would mean a night in Nuweiba.

We’ve been told that some of the hotels have arranged mini-buses for their guests as obviously there are not enough regular buses running to get everyone out who wants to leave. There appear to be a number of people still hanging around the resorts, and the hotelier did try to get us to stay, as the worst has almost surely passed, but I would feel more comfortable to get to a quieter place. Not that Aqaba itself is necessarily quiet, but it’s more of a trade port than a tourist town.

So it means that we have decided not to do the trek to St. Katherine’s, or Mount Sinai, which is a shame, but not a huge deal for us. The biggest shame is really not being able to stay in Dahab. It’s such a beautiful town, most certainly a tourist resort, but still quainter than the other tourist places we’ve been. Beautiful clean clear ocean, nice sea breeze, not too hot… It also means we will have to wait until Turkey to do any diving, but again, not a big deal.

I think the worst is over, and we will try to get back on the trail as quickly as possible. Stay tuned in the next day or two, we will let you know when we arrive in Aqaba.


Shocked, but we’re alright

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Just a quick note to everyone to let you know that we're all right. We were on the overnight bus to Dahab when 3 bombs went off at our destination. We were wondering why they started having passport ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Newer Parts are 3000 years old

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Hipostyle at Karnak Temple
Hipostyle at Karnak Temple

We're leaving Luxor this afternoon for Dahab. An extra-fun 14 hour bus ride. Very much looking forward to ... [Continue reading this entry]


Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Temple of Ramses
Temple of Ramses

It's been a bit hectic lately. Our time in Aswan seemed to have lts of spare time built in, but it all ... [Continue reading this entry]

And into the Desert

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

White Desert at Night
The White Desert at Night

We've just returned to Cairo after a three night, four day stint in Bahariya Oasis. The trip out ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sand, Sun and Pyramids

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Zosser's Pyramid
Zosser's Pyramid

Today was certainly a packed day. We got up earlyish (okay, so around 8 am) to head out and see the pyramids. Our ... [Continue reading this entry]

Arrival in Cairo

Monday, April 10th, 2006

We've now finished our first day in Cairo. It is definately different from anywhere I've been before. Somewhat intimidating, and yet also very interesting. We're staying in the downtown area, just a couple of blocks from Midan ... [Continue reading this entry]