>It is mandatory to travel in a convoy to get to the valley of the Kings. I think that some tourists were robbed once by bandits while traveling that road so they implemented precautions.
Our convoy was huge, transporting all the guests and crew at once, probably over 800 people.
There was an armed guard on our bus. It took us a while to realise what the overdressed guy in the suit with dark glasses was doing in the front seat, but someone noticed a gun on him and we realised what he was doing. No wonder they were so nervous when I sat next to him to take pictures out the front window of the bus!
Every cross road we came to was blocked off for us to pass. There were many blocked off crossroads and checkpoints and many guys with AK47’s. We stopped a lot of local traffic.
There was one rest stop on the 3 hour drive, and some of the guests in the other buses got out to have a coffee. We had to wait for them along with the rest of the convoy, and we sat in our bus and saw this Bedouin woman probably looking for tips for photos. Notice the goat at her heels!
I saw some crazy stuff on the bus ride. We passed a lot of farmland and I saw many donkey carts, children playing in the irrigation water, women watching their sheep, adobe huts..
Here are some houses, the donkey stable is right out front.
He did his speeches outside the tombs for a reason – It is illegal to explain things inside the tombs because the carbon dioxide coming from your mouth will deteriorate the paint!! The 3,000 year old paint inside was still quite vibrant, from the miracle combination of dye, egg whites, and beeswax.
It surprised me how unprotected the whole thing was. The Egyptian guys working there had no respect for the place. One guy stood in the tomb entrance smoking while he collected tickets. We gave him a hard time about that. Then, the guys inside the tomb who were supposed to make sure we didn’t do anything to harm it only begged for money.
Picture were illegal because the flash harms the paint. Please don’t be mad at me, but I got these pictures because I paid the guy a couple of dollars and used no flash. Some people paid him and actually used their flash! You can see how, on the walls you can just reach out and touch the hieroglyphs if you want. There is nothing in place to protect them. Certain corners of the wall where there were stairs the hieroglyphics were totally rubbed away from people reaching out their hands to steady themselves. It made me sad thinking that these won’t be around for many generations to come unless UNESCO or an organization like that steps in to protect them, because the Egyptians seem to only be in it for the revenue.
We all got back in the bus. Roque was showing off some figurines he had bought. Our guide asked how much he had paid for them. $150! said Roque. Our guide screamed “Whaaaat?!” and ran to stop the bus. We all laughed, because we knew Roque would never pay that much for anything. Roque laughs. “Just kidding, 5 dollars!” he says.
Roque also bought a very becoming outfit.
We made a brief stop at these things. Anywhere else and they would be a major attraction. But these are just a 5 minute side stop on the way to the temples of Luxor and Karnak in Luxor City.
Becky and Carla admire one..
I waited around while people bought a bunch of ugly, expensive, heavy Alabaster. I, like Roque, had bought my much cheaper souvenir at the Valley of the Kings.
I took this girl’s picture and then gave her 5 Egyptian pounds ($1). I motioned like it was our secret and I watched her later run up to her younger brother and secretly show him the money in her hand.
The temples of Luxor and Karnak were joined together at one point. Last time I was there I skipped going inside and sat around smoking cigarettes with my friend Oxana. This time I went inside and it was beautiful.
The first stop was Karnak, which had beautiful columns. It took something like 3 000 years to build. It was late in the tour and I kind of stopped paying attention to the speech and preferred to just look at the architecture and hieroglyphics.
There were so many things to look at, and more than I can put here! The heat was so strong that I had my head in a bag for the whole bumpy 3 1/2 hour bus ride back. But it was worth it!
We reached the ship at 10:45 pm, and as the convoy was very late I missed an hour of work, which was ok! We ran straight back on the ship and played an hours worth of dance music to end our long day.