Armed and Dangerous

Trip Start Jan 09, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Sunday, May 24, 2009

"My soul's gone funky, my soul's got soul" oh now the alarm is going off, what's the time?........Bugger it's 2:30am time to get up! Thats right we had to be ready to leave by 3am as that's when our armed convoy leaves for the 3hr trip down to Abu Simbel. So we borded our mini-van for the day and headed off to meet the convey went through the first check-point no problems, we were stopped at the second check-point (as everyone is) as they check the boot and under the vehicle for bombs etc. I'm not kidding there were guys there with the mirrors on the long sticks that you see in the movies going around the van and checking it all out. My they though we were a bunch on druggies but I swear it is only cause we have had about 4 hours sleep! Once we were cleared through that check point we lined up behind some over cars and vans, just had to wait now for a bit. I looked out my window and there are guys guarding the fenceline with sub machine guns. Must admit we did feel safe with all of this security and the reason I hear you asking yourself. Well Abu Simbel is only a few kms away from the Sudan border (as you can see on the map) and they have had some trouble in the pass, but I won't bore you or get your worried about the kidnappings etc that have happened in the past.

Anyway after all of this we were on our way down to Abu Simbel once the vans started to move we were all pulling Zzzzzs. I remember waking up a bit and seeing the sunrise over the desert and then back to sleep. After 3 and a bit hours we finally arrived at Abu Simbel, Yay! so we bought our tickets and then started on the path around the mountain to the front. The first glimps you get of Abu Simbel is breath-taking, this huge Temple carved into the rock face with 4 massive statues sitting and then on another mountain is another temple!

The temples were actually moved piece by piece when the High Dam was created, can you imagine a guy coming up to you and saying. "We've got this great project for you, all you have to do is move these two 4000yr temples from down here up there, you might have to build some artifical mountains"! It must have been nuts to do this, but I tell you you wouldn't know if someone didn't tell you. The first big temple was built for Pharaoh Ramesses II while the smaller one was built for his wife Queen Nefertari tragic this is she never saw inside her temple as she was too sick, but she did get to see it from the banks of the Nile. The temples still have some of the original colour on the walls and they are covered with heaps of hyroglyphics.

After having a good look around Abu Simbel we were back on the bus to go back to Aswan. When we got back we had a bit of a rest (from the early morning and all), we caught up with a few of the crew and decided to go and have a drink. I had my only alcholic drink for the trip it turned out to be, Egyptian Stellar, and it was gooooood. After our drink we went through the markets I haggle for a belt and then we continued going through the markets. Walked past this still and then a few seconds later (we must have been about 10m away) we heard all this commotion next thing we know a lady was running and the shop-keeper was after her with a huge knife! We then headed on back to bed as we had to be up early the next morning as we were going on our felucca for the next day and night....
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