|Have donkey, will travel..|
I’ve just been back in time to ancient Egypt, sailing down the Nile on a Dahabiya boat. It was an awesome experience and something I have always wanted to do. Egypt is struggling for visitors at the moment so here’s ten reasons why you should visit Egypt now!
You will get to see the ancient sites of Egypt without hoards of tourists! The last time I went to Luxor pre 2005, I thought I would faint in Tutankhamen’s tomb. We were squashed into the enclosed space with a lot of other people and it was very, very hot. You couldn’t really see much except cameras thrusting in front of your face (you can’t take pictures in the tombs now) and the stars on the ceiling. It was so claustrophobic I felt like I would faint. Just at the moment, especially if you go early, you can have these sites almost to yourself, and it’s so much easier to envisage how things were back in ancient Egypt and soak up the atmosphere of these impressive sights.
|Meet you at Edfu!|
You can get cheap deals. It’s a traveller’s truth that when a destination suffers for any reason, then things suddenly get a whole lot cheaper. So if you go to Egypt now you will get great deals on hotels, trips, guides and souvenirs. You may even get a very good deal on the stunning trips down the Nile on the Dahabiya boats which is something you cannot do anywhere else in the world.
|A boat to dream on|
It does not rain in Egypt! It never rains in Egypt except for a few minutes or so once a year! If you have been suffering with our dreadful English weather, our dreary winter and cold wet spring, then a dose of Egyptian sunshine will perk you right up! Now is a great time to go – late twenties, early thirties (that’s 86 degrees Fahrenheit) all day, every day. It gets a bit toasty later in the year.
|Blue skies – every day|
Daraw Camel Market. This amazing old Arabian market is a real slice of African cultural life. I’ve never seen so many camels! They can go for upwards of £1,000 (700 US dollars) Its dusty, noisy and a genuine slice of local colour. You can also buy donkeys, goats sheep, bridles and fly swats. It’s commerce at it’s old school liveliest before the silent solitude of on line banking took over our commercial transactions.
Drinkable wine! In times past it proved impossible to track down anything that was vaguely quaffable in Egypt. I once paid good money for a boy to go on a bike to see his cousin, who knew a man who knew how to get me a bottle of Obelisk wine. It has the dubious accolade of being the worst wine I have ever tasted. But not now! I tried the local wine again with my typical tenacity, and lo and behold it was tasty! I drank quite a lot of rose wine on my last visit, enjoyed it and suffered no ill effects whatsoever!
|At last they’ve got the hang of it!|
The Egyptian people. They are a charming, friendly people and I have always got on well with the ones I have met. In the interests of international relations, go there and talk to them. They are as appalled about what’s happening in the world as we are, and they need our support.
|A warm welcome awaits|
You can swim in the Nile. There are no crocodiles in the river any more. The ancient Egyptians couldn’t really do swimming in the Nile as it was full of large aggressive crocs and they were liable to get eaten or at least dismembered. The crocodiles are now all confined to a lake down near the Aswan damn and so, if you pick your spot carefully (watch out for the currents) you can swim in this beautiful fresh green, river – the longest in the world.
|A crocodile free environment|
Egypt has the best ancient sites in the world. The temples and tombs of Egypt are incredible and irreplaceable wonders. They need visitors to survive and indeed excavation teams are uncovering new temples, treasures and wonders all the time, buried beneath the desert sand. The story is not nearly finished.
|May the Gods go with you|
Don’t let the terrorists win. Terrorists want to control how we think, where we go and what we do. Don’t let them. No one wants to be unsafe, but remember sometimes the picture is distorted by a content hungry media. Check your facts and your travel plans but don’t change them unless you have to.
|Don’t let the terrorists win|
Did I mention – it never rains in Egypt!
|Keeping a sense of humour|