Hello world birthday yesterday (9th) - ...
Trip Start Nov 04, 2000
60Trip End Nov 04, 2001
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Birthday yesterday (9th) - intention was to visit Pyramids at Giza early doors... but slept in past my alarm clock. Very bad. Anyway, by the time I awoke I couldn't be bothered going anywhere (being old and decrepit now at 26). Faffed around town a bit, drank some tea and read my book. Mum and Dad had packed me a birthday card and I had that to open and out fell 20US - smashing. I'm saving up all the extra cash i've got from Christmas too and might take a cheapo snowboarding hol in NZ when i get down that way.
It was a bit of a weird day and I didn't really celebrate much but bought myself a big bit of chocolate cake and a can of beer. Had that in the hotel reception bit, then went out for a few beers with some other bods. They stayed out til about 3 but I came back before midnight to get to bed early to rise sharpish for the Pyramid, didn't want to sleep past my 5:45 alarm.
Slept past my 5:45 alarm. Got up 6:50 and out the door. Caught a local bus to Giza plateau (25 piastas - less than 5p) instead of taking the luxury liner all the tourists take (2EP - far to expensive, that's my dinner budget!) Anyway, ride was entertaining as usual with old ladies and businessmen jumping on and off the bus at speed. Bit foggy this morning so I couldn't really see where my bus stop was, but i hung out the back door trying to catch a glimpse of something pyramidal.
Anyway, I found the back entrance ok which is right beside some horrible little town which either was always there (probable) and has just evolved into endless streets of 'Dr. Professors House of Papyrus' and 'Pyramid Perfumes' etc. Bit manky with camels and horses everywhere, doing their thing in the gutter.
Got to the ticket office and it was still foggy. I was actually inside the plateau enclosure and I couldn't see a bloody thing - and the Sphinx is about 10 metres in front of me. I looked out my guidebook for a map (obviously Egyptian tourist board don't provide any signs or visitors packs) and wandered up the hill towards the Pyramid of Cheops to get some entry tix. Up the hill thru the freezing fog (my wee fingers were blue - unheard of!) and just as I reach the brow of the hill the cloud clears a little and in the sharp blue sky I see the very top of The Great Pyramid reaching up to the heavens (sort of). Wow. Pretty stunning, I was grinning from ear to ear like a diddy. I'd pretty much started this trip to see the Pyramids and it grew into something a bit bigger, but to finally see them was outstanding. I had to just sit down on a rock for few minutes and look at it (I thought it was that great).
I had to wait until 1pm until the ticket office to get into Cheops opened. About 4 hours. Most of the people I had talked to had said that the visit could be done in about an hour and any longer was just milking it. Not so! I had a great time wandering about some of the ancient cemetaries, and climbing down into a couple of the less elaborate Queen's Pyramids. As usual the guards were wanting baksheesh to get in, but unfortunately for them i wasn't playing. One guy wouldn't put the lights on for me to go down one of the shafts... he was gutted when i pulled out my trusty Maglite and walked past him. It was great, real Indiana Jones nonsense as there weren't many people about and I had a couple of tombs to myself. I sat down one writing some postcards which was a bit sweaty (sorry). One of the other tombs I went down, the guard was a bit grumbly as I think the other guard had told him I didn't pay up... anyway, went down the slopey ladder thing, had a peek, then crept up quietly so as not to disturb the guard and maybe get away without any aggro. He must have heard me just as I got to the door though, as he came running over to get his few pounds - and his trews were round his knees! Dude had been so keen to get the loot he'd stopped mid-pee and run to get me. Cheers mate. I still wasn't playing, so he grabbed me "Lei Lei" (money money) and I just pointed and said something like, "aye flies mate" and he looked down then turned away in embarrassment. I made off with all my lolly. Nish!
Too much to say here about Pyramids ... all good. Had to queue for about an hour to get into Cheops (wasn't going to miss that!) , and some greasy tour guides skipped to the front of the queue. Started a bit of an arguement between them and two Egyptian's in front of me...Tourist Police came over and ordered that only one person could buy one ticket. The tour guides were most upset. They had to get their groups of the buses and join the line. Sorry campers, but get down with the rest of the plebs. Got my ticket and sprinted into Cheops, up the Great Gallery (about 50 Metres long) and into the Kings Chamber. I love getting their on my own for even a few minutes. I was laughing all the way up...maniac. Anyway, there isn't much to see inside, but what a feat of engineering. Inside, all the blocks on the passageways and on the ceilings of the chambers are so big, so perfectly cut, and so accurately fitted it is unreal. Go visit.
To finish, went for a wander off into the desert, dodged the Camel hawkers, though they were tempting. Got some good pictures from a distance and had a bit of peace and quite. Outstanding day!
Back by about 6pm, quick shower (didn't have time in the morning, poowee) then went for a walk to good pizza place about 20 mins. Worth the effort. Now in internet cafe. Will keep this short as I'm spacing out on antimalarial tablets in preparation for India (friday, wooo) Now stopping this entry.