Crazy heat in the Valley of the Kings
Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
67Trip End Dec 22, 2007
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Late in the afternoon, after it had cooled down to only 39 degrees, we were taken by Calesh (traditional horse drawn carriage) to the Karnak Temple. It's a remarkable place that dates back 4000 years, consisting of 134 giant pillars rising 20 metres, etched with hieroglyphics. Two massive solid granite obelisks tower over the ancient site. It can be easy to get blasť about the Egyptian monuments but then you stop and think, pharaohs have walked where we walked today thousands of years ago...amazing.
Early Sunday morning we walked down to the River Nile to catch a boat to the west bank. From there we were picked by a 1970's Peugeot taxi which we somehow squeezed 8 of us in for the 20 minute drive to the Valley of the Kings, where over 60 Pharaohs were entombed.
All the big names are here Thutmose 1-4, Rameses 1 - 10, and the star of the show, Tutankhamen. (That's why they charge an extra 80 pounds to enter his tomb) We went into three tombs - Rameses II and Rameses III, both quite large tombs containing clear and colourful hieroglyphics. The third tomb was that Thutmose III, and it was a different story altogether
The tight tunnel opened up into a large room with a massive stone coffin and more hieroglyphics. The air was very hot, humid and stale so we didn't stay too long, and by the time we climbed all the way back up and out we were all overheating but at least the lights stayed on.
Another 70's Peugeot took us to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut (pronounced Hat Cheap Suit - just like a day at the races). By this stage the temperature was over 40 degrees so we didn't last too long here. The setting of this temple is what really makes it special, with a back drop of a sheer cliff face and the front staircase it's main feature.
On a day of interesting transport our next form probably takes the cake. To get back to the restaurant for lunch we spent an hour riding .....Donkeys
Our last dinner as a group was at a riverside restaurant on the Nile. The next day we all went our separate ways. After a great trip with our new friends, we are ready to see some greenery, maybe a cloud or two and leave the heat and sand behind. We're off to Amsterdam to start the next leg of our trip, 4 months in Europe...
PS Travelling with a surfboard can throw up some interesting situations. When we were checking in for our flight from Egypt to the Netherlands the man at KLM airlines asked me if my surfboard, all 6 foot 8 of it was "for golf or fencing?" I said fencing.s