Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cairo, Egypt: How to conquer the pyramids and the desert: Part 2

Never leave Egypt without these:
from left to right

Conquer the Great Pyramid of Giza of King Cheops - look how small i am in the pic and the shot was only half of the pryamid.  The Great Pyramid of Giza was inspired by the steps in Saqqara (which we didn't include in our trip as 3 pyramids are enough to look at :D).  The architect of the great pyramid slightly miscalculated the angle so you can see the difference after 20 steps, that the angle suddenly changed.  (this was informed to us by the tour guide, i'm not really the archaeologic type :D).  And looking at the pyramids, it's made of big blocks of stones (some in limestone). It's a bit boring if you don't imagine how it was built and how the blocks were carried here.  Do take note that this was 5000 years ago so technology doesn't exist.  Amazing, isn't it? :)  There are 2 more pyramids and what I remember is the 2nd biggest which belonged to King Chephren which made his pyramid shorter than his dad as a sign of respect. 

Have you sat on a camel's back before?  If not, do this in the Pyramids of Giza!  You would have a nice background of one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world with this cute beast.  But you might be disappointed that camels here only have 1 hump :(.  (i thought every camel has 2).  The camel sits when you're ready to board on his back (way too tall).  I was a bit scared so HT hubbie and I shared one.  Once you're ready, the camel stands by balancing you and you by leaning back or else, you'll be falling in no time.  (I felt like I was at the peak of the roller coaster and it's about to swoosh down). 
The ride was pretty smooth and our camel guide took a  lot of pictures for us and he kept on asking if we're having a good time (at some point i want just to put a big YES on my forehead).  When we were quite far from where we started, i suddenly realized those questions of having a good time has meaning in it.  He wanted baksheesh (this word shouldn't have been invented).  We gave him Egyptian pounds but he demanded for Euro (sneaky bastard).  I was irritated and told him that we were informed not to give (but we weren't ) and he got scared that his boss would came to know so he asked us to keep our money.  Ai yoh...anyways...

20 mins of a camel ride is enough.  Make sure to inform your camel guides that you want 20 mins going and coming back.  And be clear with how much you are paying.  Don't just say the amount but make it clear it's in Egyptian pounds (this applies for all money matters in Egypt).  So you won't be shocked that suddenly what he meant was British pounds. 

 Kiss the Sphinx!  If you can't beat them, join them.  Everyone was doing it so I did too!  This sphinx which has the head and image of King Chephren (who asked to build this) with a lion's body.  This signifies the intelligence of a man and the power of a lion.  Nah, I prefer HT hubbie's kiss :D.

Oh, i forgot, watch out for those guys holding shirts and trying to sell postcards.  They welcome you to Egypt (and you might think how nice of them) and after a few exchange of chats, they'll hand off tshirts to you as a sign of the Egyptian hospitality = Baksheesh.  Make sure to say no and don't take anything unless you wanted to return that hospitality in $$$. :D

Beware of taking pics of people on camesl.  They'll lift their arms and ask you to take picture of them.  And you know what's next....Baksheesh (again).  We went local so we also decided to ask for tip, but nobody bothered taking picture of us...hmph!

We can't get enough of the we decided to continue our trip to:

Black Desert - chunks of volcanic rock and you can imagine how big the eruption was.
White Desert - unique rock formation that nobody can explain why. 
Hot Spring - this is the least i wanted to do when i'm in the desert.  I don't get refreshed but dehydrated.
Crystal Mountain - those rocks are made of crystals!  I excavated and took a few pieces back home.

nice, isn't it? :D

rabbit rock formation in white desert

Make sure to walk like an Egyptian before leaving the country

This 4X4 was our savior driving around, to and from the desert

After a few fix here and there, ta-dah!  Here's our cozy spot for dinner with our ultimate Bedouin guy!  He's a good cook too!

While having dinner, there were small foxes who weren't shy.  In the middle of the sumptuous supper, we were surrounded by 20.

We also had Bedouin entertainment and HT hubbie can't stop shaking his booty that night. 

See what i mean? :D

Then off we snooze...yes, in the desert.
It's even more traditional than the usual camping with tent.  We were just given thin mattresses and blankets...that's it.  It was difficult to sleep as the moon was shining so bright and I imagined being attacked by those small foxes or snakes crawling on us (thanks to the Bedouin guy who mentioned that before we hit the sack).  It can be pretty cold in the middle of the night so blankets are life savers...even in the desert.

this was the most luxurious toilet we had.  You can choose your own rock where you can hide and pee.  You can even have two or more toilets for a night.  We decided to share one. 

It was a great experience.  But, i'll never do it again...HT hubbie agreed.

Ok, i'm taking back what i've said of not going to the hot spring.  On our way back to Cairo, i just have to take a dip as spending a day and night in the desert with no water to wash yourselves with, hot spring was heaven!  We just drank litres of water to replenish our body fluid.

Ah!  Back in Cairo...suddenly our not-so-5-star-hotel gave us the feeling of a 6-star.  Water, water, water for a good shower, air conditioned room, thick bed was a good way to end our desert and Cairo tour. 

My envisioned of's like Manila with older aura.  Traffic is the same and the drivers have the same crazy way on the street.  The Manilenos will be able to adapt easily in this city.

Whether you're at the desert or at the Red Sea, watching how the sun sets will tell you that tomorrow is another day of exploration in the land...where it all begins.

Part we come! 


  1. you slept in the desert?! Respect!

  2. ang saya auntie!!!parang retired ka na, nag wowork ka pa ba? hahahha...

  3. Wow, sounds challenging, fun and tough... sleeping in the dessert with such wonderful toilets... Geez, beyond imagination...

  4. Can't wait for part three!!! :-)

  5. @oysterdiaries - Yes, we did, and one of the best of the tour!

    @careng - Saya talga! Nagwowork naman kaso dami leaves dito sa works well for my lifestyle.

    @Fen - It was challlenging as it was my first. I learned to change clothes within clothes and not being choosy with toilets :D

    @Mercedes - Thanks! Glad you're enjoying the post!

  6. Whoaaaaaa... the desert tour sounds awesome!! Will definitely try it one day. :D
    Great post Loraine! :)

  7. Love your posts on Egypt Raine! Excited to read part 3! ang cool - natulog kayo sa desert! di ko kaya, takot sa fox at ahas hehehe.

  8. What an adventure! But the view is magnificent. Congrats for surviving the desert, Raine!

  9. @Ratna - yeah, you should try it you would have the same feeling of fulfillment...Afterwhich, you can forget about the 2nd time :) haha
    @Diobs - thanks! Oo, natulog kami sa desert...nagpapaka-amazing race kuno kami :)
    @Nits - Thanks! I heard from Rhea, you guys would be in EU soon? :D