An email that was sent to some
|Subject: Touring with
In a message dated 4/18/2007 3:30:13 AM Eastern Daylight
Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Dear Robyn and Karl
And I am planning to go again in April 2008. If you are spiritual then
Ruth is your guide.
Okay, some tips from me (I live in Surry Hills, NSW). Arrive the day
before to rest up from the flight, the extra night's accommodation is
cheap and well worth it (get Ruth to arrange). You might need the
extra rest as the climate is dry-hot (not humid like Oz), dusty and
there is a reasonable amount of walking and shaft climbing, and the
flight with stop-overs gets close to 30 hours.
Depending on your budget fly business class on the cheapest airline
(Gulf does it well). Its the space on the plane you need, not fancy
food with a Qantas logo on it. Gulf went via Singapore to Bahrain to
change planes. Bahrain has the cheapest duty free stores in the world.
Really, really cheap prices for the real McCoy's. Great for perfumes,
aftershave, booze and cigs. Don't waste your cash at Sydney airport.
Cairo airport is cheap too, but doesn't have the range and quality of
Bahrain. And Bahrain will give you an indication of what's to come -
Cairo airport. Just smile, be happy, and laugh about it later.
Cairo airport is quite scary at first - lots of people rushing about
in a mad frenzy, and you left home thirty hours ago, but an AmEx rep
will collect you. Go to the toilet just before getting off the plane.
The toilets in Egypt are somewhat a little worse for wear. Sensible
clothes at all times - not the place or climate to make fashion
If you've seen, been to the outback, then you know what to expect of
dunnies/toilets, the dust, the flies ... just add a few more million
people and the best monuments to man's spirituality expressed through
imagination into reality. So take highest sunscreen in easy to apply
applicator, insect repellent, hat, good covered comfortable shoes -
tennis shoes, joggers. Because of the hot sand and dust, I do
recommend closed shoes. Cotton clothes, shorts, tee-shirts,
The nights can be cool and insects abound - one pair of long pants and
one long sleeved shirt. If doing the Nile cruise - it's still
reasonably informal. You don't want to be lugging around clothes. Buy
some there - really cheap. Just throw them away before you leave. Or
leave them behind in your last hotel room. Hotel workers appreciate
Once again, remember, you are in the outback - take all chemist needs
with you. Constipation and diarrhoea stuff, TraveLan is good, headache
pills, batteries etc. Some of these needs may be available but the
use-by-date will be missing and it might be a fake. The voltage is
220/240 volts so all your electricals will work. Don't expect to buy
anything there except food and souvenirs. Carpets, papyrus, gold - it
all adds up. And you don't go back to shops - the tour heads in one
direction only. So think about your shopping budgets now as you will
be awestruck by the array and quality craftsmanship of the souvenirs.
Be prepared to bargain - turn it into a learning experience and a lot
of fun. Check out the prices in the hotel lobby shops. Don't buy
anything, just practice at bargaining, get the price as low as
possible and then leave. That price now is your upper price when
bargaining on the street and never go above that price no matter what,
as you will go back to the hotel if you lose. Its fun. Keep your wits
as one vendor may say $100 US and you know that little shop back there
was prepared to sell the same
thing at $15 US. The price depends on how YOU dress and look. They
think everyone is mega rich. Getting the price out of the seller first
is hard, so offer a ridiculously (but not offensive) low price first,
like 1 tenth or even one twentieth of the price. Keep it happy and
And its a good tool to use when you get home. I bargain in most
clothes and electrical shops nowadays. Something I would never have
dreamt of doing before.
Get heaps of 1 Egyptian Pound notes off Ruth - you have to tip
everywhere you go [for bathrooms and photos]. But 1 Egypt Pound is
worth 20 cents, cheap but it does add up. And keep some cash available
for Ehab at the end. Automatic teller machines are at the bigger
towns/cities. Just remember, you can't change back your leftover
Egyptian Pounds to AUdollars or any other currency. But they know the
Oz dollar and Australians very well. Might have something to do with
First and Second World Wars.
Can't think of anything else at the moment. I am happy to respond with
you about the tour. Inside the Great Pyramid, alone, with the lights
off - wow, what an experience. The Solar Temple is also very charged.
Karnak ... just thinking about it now sends excited goosebumps all
Take care. Life, Health, Prosperity
Back to Our Travels Say...
All photos this
page are by Ruth Shilling.