just a country somewhere
posted Thursday, 15 February 2007
I spent the last couple of days in Egypt. Had an awesome time. Some friends and I had some time so we went. We had a driver named Khaleel. He's one of those guys who wear a hand towel on his head and beach towel on his body. Heres a pic.
Khaleel came along with his sidekick security guard. He wore a suit and a very large gun. His name was (in Arabic, something like) squiggle sguiggle sguiggle dot dot sguiggle. He actually saved us a couple of times. We spent tuesday in naama bay, which is the the town center of sharm el sheik. An arab shop owner in naama bay seemed to think my bathing suit would look better on him then on me, and wasnt gonna take no for an answer. After getting away from him and a couple of other 'salesmen' we were glad to see Squiggle squiggle squiggle dot dot squiggle start accompanying us(instead of melting into the crowd and keeping an eye on us unseen). All he had to do was give 'the look' (mess with my boys and you a dead man look) or in an extreme case lift 'the finger' (index, in the uncle sam wants you pose) and people would leave us alone. Heres some pics of naama bay. Then we drove to saint catherine. Thats where har sinai is thought to be. We hiked up the mountain. We started at about 1:30 in the morning and hiked all through the night. It was intense. I almost died. It was a pretty hard hike partly because it was pitch dark, and we had to dodge thousands of tourists and camels doing the same hike (and avoid rocks and slipping and falling over the edge), and partly because I wasnt prepared for the frigid temperatures. (crocs, no socks, tshirt, with thin sweatshirt. Word of advice: if you're ever going hiking for more then 3 hours dont wear crocs, its just not so fun) We caught sunrise on the top of the mountain. I was shivering so much I wasnt able to take a clear picture part of the time. Then we hiked down the mountain, and defrosted slowly as the scorching desert sun slowly rose.
We got back to Khaleel and Squiggle sguiggle squiggle dot dot sguiggle, and drove another 6 hours through the sinai desert. (for the zillionth time throughout the trip) When we got to Cairo, we rented horses and a guide and went off to the pyramids. It was awesome. Theres few things as exhilirating as sitting in the open desert on a powerful arabian steed, taking it to full gallop. No sounds at all but the horse's heavy breathing and hoofs on the sand.Horses can go a lot faster then I thought. (maybe cuz theres guard rails in the desert, so they can just fly) We toured the pyramids and rode around taking pictures. After the pyramids we had to do another buncha hours in the desert. This time the checkpoints didnt just let us pass as easily as before. But we got through em all. (like duh, I'm typing this) I cant figure out why they had so many in the first place. Are the camels escaping? What are they so scared of down there?
Anyway, we got back over the border and it was a real relief. It was so great to see jews again. I was even happy to see the mean Israeli security lady again. It was also cool to see signs that had hebrew on it. We hadnt seen any hebrew in the entire time we were in Egypt. While in Egypt I truly felt like a stranger in a strange land. I had an awesome time, but its great to be home, in my country.
Heres some random pics. (only some, sorry)
A mall in naama bay
a hooka bar
sunrise on top
the nile river
thats all for now. It takes way to much time to post pics and to shrink em.