Egypt was wonderful! It was an amazing time. The only thing I think needed improvement was the Bedouin Trip. Having said that, the camel ride was fun as was the quad. We actually only met 2 Bedouins though. So again big disappointment as I was eager to learn about them.
But…forgetting that one thing because I certainly would never base a trip on just that, it’s always an adventure and I remain believing Egypt is an amazing and perfectly safe place.
The people are so friendly, happy, smiling all the time, extremely appreciative you have come to their country, eager to understand why nobody is visiting and how they can rectify it. I actually filled out a survey for some college students and it was all around why is nobody coming, how do we get them back. They are curious about us as much as we are about them. Obviously the men are extra appreciative but it never offended me mostly made me laugh. I came home with a whole slew of new pick-up lines! By the end of the trip Dan was being offered 10,000 camels and a chicken to be able to marry me. When I try and explain the people to my family and friends, I draw comparisons to the Mexican people. Warm, friendly, welcoming. Yes they can be “pushy” but it is not aggressive at all and actually I would say not even close to how Jamaica is. Absolutely fun and stress-free.
Manar, our Egyptologist guide, was really good. Very knowledgeable, articulate and helped get us to the right places. I especially appreciated having another female with us as it’s always great to connect. I enjoyed her company for sure.
What I did not realize before I left was how Egypt is not even close to being discovered. They are still finding artefacts, tombs, temples etc. I went thinking it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I could cross it off my bucket list but that is totally inaccurate. I will be back. In 10 years they will have found more and it will be that much more exciting to see and discover.
Cairo is busy, dirty, noisy, fascinating and surrounded by pyramids and the Great Sphinx. I loved it there! Cars, trucks, bikes and donkeys co-existing. So cool. The only time I was worried about my safety or where my heart was racing was when we were in Cairo and we heard gun shots right outside our hotel. It was only day 2 and it made me feel extremely vulnerable. Then we investigated it and found out it was a wedding and just a happy groom! How silly of us. There was so much hype before I left and so much negativity it manifested to paranoia a little. After that I wiped my head clean of all the negative press I heard before I went and just enjoyed every minute. I understand the whole political situation but they value and love their tourists. They know we help make their country go round. They are devastated right now to a point we were the only one’s looking at King Tut’s artefacts! Normally an hour wait. It is very sad and I promised everyone who asked I would be an Egyptian Ambassador when I returned.
As for the diving…it was great! The crew is so amazing. Daniela and Csaba were great. The Captain fought some tough seas for us but we managed and I know the diving could be better but I still really enjoyed it. Mustafa was my favourite. Big smile, sweet disposition just great to be around and he took such good care of me. I would recommend in your literature to put maybe a section on things you could take the crew that are almost as appreciated as tips. Clothing (t-shirts, shorts, bathing suits not being worn maybe), chocolate, treats, maple syrup, medication, lotions, toiletries, feminine products etc. if you can smuggle some bacon the dive masters would love you forever! I do a liveaboard every year and it is always with Americans mostly. It was so fun to get to know some Belgium’s, Norwegians and Swedes.
So I’m sure I responded with way more than you were looking for but just wanted to let you know my trip was great and will be in my memories forever! Not to mention my 600 photos are proof of the adventure.
I look forward to the next time.
Kim Glenn, Alberta