Sunday, August 05, 2007

Luxor

First of all I want to say I am so surprised that Grady made it back again so soon and I am glad that he will be able to finish off the rest of Egypt that he missed.


After being stuck in Cairo for so long, it was a great relief to hit the road once more and see something new for a change! I have to admit, I have missed the joys of REAL travel since we've been stationed here in Cairo. I am anxious for more crazy adventures.


It was great seeing Luxor and exploring all of the Ancient Egyptian sights.......Once we arrived after 12 hours on train, we found our hotel, dropped our bags off and went straight to the Luxor Temple, Luxor Museum and Mummification museum. It seems there is an endless amount of history here and it is absolutely overwhelming. It's extremely hot and coming home after a long day of sightseeing, getting into trouble and exploring off limits, it was amazing to have A/C in our room for once. The harassment was through the roof and got on all of our nerves.





Well it's great to be back travelling with the Watkins family and their new recruited movie producer Rhiis. I'm sitting here in an internet cafe in Cairo as I am typing this blog and I feel half dead - not because of the abuse Savannah has given me (although that is a very large factor in my feeling half dead), but because of the pollution in the air here. There is just something about living in a city that's as polluted as Cairo that just saps the energy right out of you; since I got here I've felt like my body has only been operating at about 75% of its usual capacity. The air is so pungent and abundant with cigarette smoke, exhaust, heat and methane gas from Ammon's butt after a meal of foul (bean mulch and mixed vegetables thrown into flatbread) that I can't even take a breath without feeling like I'm suffocating slightly. It was great to get out of Cairo to go down to see Luxor, partially because I didn't get a chance to see it the first time around, but mostly because of the pollution. Now, Luxor is very notorious for harassment from the locals, which became quite evident to me during the few days we had stayed there. Despite the fact that almost all humanity in Luxor was beyond redemption, the sights did not disappoint me. The highlight of going to Luxor was definitely going to Karnak Temple and climbing through a partially collapsed, off limits passageway. Not only were we having to walk over scarab beetles and dodge bats, but we had to do it in near pitch darkness, with the exception of a small flashlight that Rhiis had brought. We saw a beam of daylight projecting itself through a hole in the collapsed section of ceiling at the end of the ancient staircase. After clambering out, we found ourselves on top of a section of the Temple's walls looking about 3 or 4 stories down at the other oblivious tourists and security guards. Feeling exhausted from the heat, we sat down to take a rest and recalibrate clothing and what not to adjust for the intense heat, which was probably sitting at approximately 40-45 degrees Celsius at the time, when we heard the familiar squeaking of bats. We knew that there must be a bat cave close because of the few bats we had seen in the passage way coming up. We climbed up to investigate the sounds when we came to an open cavity in the temple wall which extended all the way to the ground. Inside the cavity we could see a few bats in a door shaped opening at the opposite end of the cavity. We stood our ground to observe and I don't know if it was the sight of humans that got them riled up, but a few bats turned into a few more. Minutes after hearing the squeaking from just a few bats, which was now more of a screeching of bat commotion, the cavity had been consumed by a whirlwind of bats, some which would have probably had a wing span close to 2 feet. Eat your heart out Indiana Jones.


Savannah and Grady

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