Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day 4: The Overlook

Back into the bus for a quick ride to a point which overlooks the whole multi-pyramid complex. We had been waiting for this part for months, actually, because this was our chance to ride a camel!

These were perhaps the most bored animals on Planet Earth. Their whole job is to lie down, let a tourist get on top of them, stand up (this part is actually quite a production), walk about 100 yards, get photographed, and then walk back and lie down again. Ihab and the other GCT angels had prearranged a (very cheap) group price with the camel wranglers, which didn't stop said camel wranglers from hitting us up for more money. Baksheesh is kind of a theme here.

On the original literature from Grand Circle, they had said we had to choose between riding a camel and seeing the Solar Boat (about which, more later). However when we got here it turned out that we could do both!

I was the first to board:


but soon Dad got into the camel-riding act:



and we were off across the dunes like Lawrence of Arabia! Actually, the camel's gait was very comfortable once I found the second stirrup, and I would have enjoyed riding for a lot longer!

IMG_0434 cairo

We paused for a few minutes to just stand there and marvel at the pyramid complex. It was smoggy, so the pyramids were slightly veiled


but they were still amazing. I wish we could have seen them with their original smooth limestone covering


but most of it was "recycled" into various buildings in Cairo and its environs.

Next stop: the Solar Barque!

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