Day 7 - Nile Cruise, Esna, Luxor Karnak Light & Sound

November 1997

Arrived at Esna just down river and got off the boat. As Kali walked along the edge of the boat, one of the clips on her rucksack broke and the bag fell in to the Nile. Saleh, one of the crew from the Kimo, retrieved it as quickly as possible but the damage was already done, particularly to Kali's alarm clock. No more early wake-up calls? We should be so lucky (bad Kali/Kylie pun; I shouldn't have drawn attention to it).

What's the secret?

We joined a convoy to Luxor. Convoys are a regular thing in Egypt for tourists travelling up and down the country - you meet up at a designated checkpoint which is manned by secret police (not that secret: shades, snappy dressers, walkie-talkies and pistols strapped to their waists in holsters) and sent off together under armed guard. Our guard was not that easy to spot. Usually the police are in their black uniforms but ours was in full traditional Arabian dress: bagesh, galabea and sandals topped off nicely with a 12-guage shotgun slung over his shoulder. When I first saw him I thought he was just off out on a felucca to go shooting fish. Wrong! If anyone needed shooting it was our bus driver who proved himself to be the maddest driver we'd seen yet - and in Egypt that's really saying something.

Once back at the Emilio Hotel, we all mooched our separate ways. I looked for a bank and found what was probably Luxor's only ATM. It didn't have any cash in it. I should have known better. I visited Hamdi's jewellery shop, Pensee Bazaar, and ordered a couple of cartouche necklaces - a silver one for me and a gold one for mum.

Party time

Karnak Sound & Light ticket

Karnak Sound & Light Show
Karnak Sound & Light Show

In the evening we went to Karnak Temple for the Sound & Light. All very good, if a bit 'luvvie'. I was waiting for Richard Burton to say: "And slowly, but surely, they drew their plans against us" or something. After that we went to the Egotel where we met Terry's group and other tour groups for his leaving bash. Following the buffet meal, we walked to the club next door for a summary of all that's wrong in Euro club music. If I hear Coco Jambo again I will scream and then eat my own ears off.

Home time ... damn

It was very tempting for me and Andy to stay late and get completely hammered but we were looking at an early start the next morning - 3am - to go to the Valley of the Kings by donkey. Probably not a good thing to do while suffering a bad hangover or still drunk!

We left at midnight, narrowly missing Terry's party surprise: his girlfriend Vicky, another Explore tour leader, was flying down from Cairo to do a belly dance for him, veiled. Then she would whip off her veil and give him a shock, hopefully. Well, it didn't quite work out like that in the end. Someone had to warn him about the little 'surprise' as he was draped over one of the girls in his group, Sarah, for most of the time. I was told he does it on every tour. He seemed to have a bit of an image problem too. Kali says that he is always immaculately dressed and it seems he washes his hair far too many times a day for it to be considered normal, so when Ahmed and co. tried to get Terry to put on a striped galabea and silly hat he was having none of it. Boring git. So, in short, we didn't really miss anything!