Tuesday, 13 May 2008

My return trip to the sand dunes of Egypt

Woohoo!!!!!!! I have finally chosen where to go for an adventure this year!! Yippee!!!

After my fall at the end of December 2006, I wasn't really up for anything adventurous last year, but it is now time to dust off my hiking boots and get myself back on track. All I can say is "Move aside Indiana Jones"...lol!

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So, as you have probably guessed by the title of this post, I am going back to Egypt. My last visit to Egypt was to the spectacular Sinai Desert in 2002. My goodness, it feels just like yesterday.

This time my expedition will be slightly different.

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After leaving England, I will fly to Luxor where I will meet the group that I will be exploring with, and then will find a donkey and ride to the Valley of the Kings and visit Queen Hatshepsut Temple.

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I will also visit the main tombs of the area including the most famous tomb, Tutankhamen (How amazing is that?)

library photograph

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In the afternoon I will have time to discover the surrounding villages with a Calesh ride, visit the Valley of the Queens and experience the 'Sound and Light show' at the Kamak Temple. There should also be time for me to catch an early morning hot air balloon ride over the valley.

After a couple of days, I will travel by train to Aswam, where I will begin a 5 day trip in a very basic boat across Lake Nasser to Abu Simbel. As part of the project to flood the lake in 1971, many temples were relocated to save them and are now sited around its shores. Apart from crocs, fish eagles and pelicans, the only inhabitants I am likely to come across in the wilderness are lone fishermen selling their catch.

library photograph

library photograph

The beauty of experiencing the lake this way is being able to explore areas that are inaccessible by other means of transport such as; Wadi Es Seboua with its well preserved inscriptions, Dakka and Maharaqah as well as the old fort of Kasr Ibrim, standing alone on a small Island hilltop (the only site that still occupies its original position). There are also numerous opportunities for treks in the sand dunes as well as swimming, relaxation and even some fishing.

One of the highlights of the tour is arriving at Abu Simbel from the lake.

library photograph

I should have the chance to explore the interior Sanitary and witness the spectacular sun rising at the site early in the morning well before the crowds arrive. I will then travel by road and train back to Luxor for the final evening with the group.

Now, the only unfortunate thing is that I will not be going until October.... However, I am already feeling excited...lol! Before then, I have a two week vacation in Portugal during August. Even that feels like an age away...LOL!!!!!

Cheerio for now,

Graham xx


Muse said...

Do they have port-o-potties in the desert? Kinda made me think of how that would be an amusing commercia for that commercia which says "Where will you be when YOUR diarrhea kicks in?" lol

Seriously looks uber adventurous - a definate trek the modern day indiana would approve of ;-).

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Sounds spectacular! I have always wanted to go to Egypt, it's very close to the top of my list ;)

meleah rebeccah said...

Shut UP!

That is freeking awesome and amazing and I wish I could TRAVEL somewhere anywhere outside of the USA.


Chica said...

Oh my gosh, you are so going to need like ten memory cards for your camera, that place looks amazing! :)

becca said...

I've stayed at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas...that's sort of the same...right?? Ahhh.....well, sounds amazzzing. So jealous. Be sure to keep us updated on how it goes.

Zhu said...

If I lose about 100 pounds and cut myself in little pieces, can you take me? Pleeease!!!

I'm so envious it's not even funny. :P

Anonymous said...

Very formidable trip indeed. Please promise me that you will wear the Indiana hat. And I am more than willing to carry your camera equipment (and mine).

Max said...

Hey Graham!

It has been awhile, eh? But only today I found out that your site works better in Firefox! (it always crashed my IE browser) So, now I know what I have to do :D!

I am so happy for you!! I am happy cause you are feeling better to go on an adventure and because you are going to that beautiful country: Egypt! Loved the pics: gorgeous!

Soooo, you are coming to Portugal in August? Algarve or Douro?
Anyway, I am sure we will speak before that (I want to wish you a safe trip)!


Getty72 said...

Muse, no port-o-potties in the desert, just a shovel and a long walk...lol.

Jessica, Egypt is a truly stunning and humbling country. You must try and visit there one day.

Meleah.... I know, it's great isn't it!!! I am so excited! I have been wanting something to look forward to for ages, and now I finally have it.

Getty72 said...

Chica, lol! I am going to have to buy myself a new little automatic camera as I don't want to take my SLR into the desert. I'm also going to have to buy a load of batteries and memory cards too...lol!!!! I don't want to miss anything on the trip...LOL!!!

Hey becca :) I have always wanted to visit Las Vegas too. I'll be sure to keep you updated ;)

Getty72 said...

Zhu, you are certainly most welcome to join me...lol!!! I could listen to your travel stories for days and days! You would be the perfect travel partner!!! I'll be sure to post loads of photos...lol!

F.O.T. LOL! I'll be sure to find an Indiana Jones hat, and wear it just for you! Oh, and make sure you grab yourself a donkey and come for the ride!

Hey Max!!!! So good to hear from you!!! Thank you for your kind words. I am feeling quite a bit better this year and hopefully this adventure will get me completely back on track. I'll be sure to catch up with you before my trip to Portugal. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Graham, that sounds just marvelous! I'm totally jealous lol.

Make sure you take plenty of photos! And I'm looking forward to hopefully catching up with you again soon. Our last chat was great!

Catch ya soon!

AZZITIZZ said...

Ha! I'm going on a donkey too!

OK, OK, It's only on Blackpool beach and it's only for a weekend, but if I shut my eyes (so long as it's not cold and raining) I could pretend couldn't I? I could build sand pyramids instead of castles and take photos, then again, I think all the guys with knotted hankies on their heads dripping ice cream down their string vests would spoil the effect.

Have a wonderful time Graham, hope you post loads of pics when you return.

Azzy (The Old)

Marjie said...

Yet again another one of those great travels for Mr. Graham. I could only wish to have one of those great adventures myself. Well dear, I do hope you enjoy your trip. Please, don't forget the pictures. That's always something to look forward to when I visit your blog :)

xxxx my dear...

Liss said...

I went to Egypt way back in 1993 - Oh the day when I was young with no kids to tie me down.
How great would it be to go back with some photography skills now digital cameras have been invented.

I am planning to go to China next year if I can convince my mum to look after the kids for a few weeks. I have to do some major sucking up to her I think.

RainforestRobin said...

Hi Dear Graham, How are you? I was hoping to get my photos up for your challenge but I've been swamped with work...12 and 14 hour days. I just read your plans for travel to Egypt again and am SO happy for you. And SO PROUD OF YOU!! In reading about your itinerary I thought wow this sounds like and Indiana Jones trip. I so admire what you are doing, and you probably don't know any of the people you will be traveling with. You are a true adventurer. Will you have a chance to sleep in the desert like last time? I always remember you telling me about that and how amazing it was for you. Have you ever done the hot air balloon ride thing before? I've not yet but it is on my list as we have hot air balloon festival every year, about a hour from where I live here in New Mexico. I also admire you for taking the boat trip by yourself away from the group. It sounds like you will see some really worth places. I am SO delighted that you are doing this with your life. Also Portugal in August sounds really good as well. I've been a lot of places but not there or Egypt. You will have to share your photos of both places with us here so that I can see them. If you get into the desert or dunes at night and look up at the billions of stars say "Hi" to Egypt for me. :) :) Will you? You are a remarkable person who is filled with life and a questing nature. It jumps right out of your soul and onto the pages here.

Linda and her Surroundings said...

Teeny weeny bit of jealousy happening here! Seriously, it sounds like a great holiday - actually, adventure is a better word. At least it will be WARM!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh Egipt! Not yet, not yet. Its in the list.
Good travels

Getty72 said...

Dawn, hope to catch up with you soon too! Thanks for your kind comments :)

Hey Azzy, Blackpool has such a lovely beach. And I have fond memories of having a donkey ride there....lol! I love the Blackpool Tower too!!

Good evening Marjie :) I am looking for a new automatic camera, as I want to make sure I get the best photographs. I'll be sure to share them when I get back xx

Getty72 said...

Liss, my goodness I am sooo envious! I would love to visit China! Good luck on the sucking up...lol!!!!

Getty72 said...

Robin, what can I say? Thank you sooooo much for your kind and encouraging words. Apparently I will not be able to sleep in the desert this time, because of the crocadiles... but the boat is a very basic one, so will be sure to be sleeping under the stars just the same. I will certainly say hi to Egypt for you.

Getty72 said...

Linda, I am sure that Egypt will be a lot warmer than England was when you visited....lol!!!! and less rain too!!!

Hey Andy, thanks for stopping by!

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