Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cairo : Thumbs up and the Pyramids

The Pyramids from the back on the Giza plateaux above the sprawling Cairo 

Hectic day today in Cairo getting things ready to hit the road. First and most important job was to get back down to the Sudanese embassy in the Garden City area of Cairo. I had heard all sorts of people on various sites complaining they had been delayed and knocked back and all sorts of stories that made my confidence low for gaining the visa. I was not in the emabassy for more than a minute and my passport came out through the hole in the wall with its visa approved and stuck in there. Great news which made the day for me. Although a visa is not a right of passage that is down to the man on the door but I think we should have no problems. Its also vital to get the visa in order to get the ferry from the Aswan Dam end of Lake Nasser down to Wadi Haifa in the Sudan.
From there it was on to have a look at the Pyramids at Giza just on the edge of Cairo. A hair-raising ride round and there they are. They are the most incredible sight rising from the desert which encroaches the city. Once in your free to walk around the area first past the Sphinx which is just as an amazing sight as the Pyramids.

The Sphinx and Pyramids at Giza 
Alan Dan and Dan plus camel 
The touts are extremely heavy here perhaps the lack of western tourists is something that they are making up for at the moment. There is certainly a lack of Western tourists and many Egyptians mention it. We headed right round them and up above getting some great views through them and onto to the huge city below. Old meets new in the desert. You certainly get a sense that in days of old this area must have been very busy and building these things was an incredible feat.
Heading back through the city to where we are based gives some pretty spicy driving, Cairo I think tops the list for fast driving in heavy traffic each and every car looks like a bumper car with dents covering the cars.
Now we are pretty much ready to hit the road the last things are packed some supplies picked up. We are setting off at around 6am in order to get the best time for quiet traffic although I have to say they don't seem to stop.
From there we shall follow the west bank of the Nile aiming eventually for Aswan in South passing various places along the way. There are plenty of large towns along the way and so I should be easily able to keep this up to date as we head down there. Life in Egypt really centres around the Nile as much of the country is desert. The people are very friendly and always offer a cheerful hello. Very much looking forward to getting on the road in the morning and once free of the city chaos then it will feel very much on the way. Many thanks to those who have donated.

Outside the Arabian Nights hostel 

One of the Pyramids the the Sahara opening up behind!