May 17 – May 24
After booking our Europe trip, we just couldn’t stop talking about all the places we wanted to visit. We were thinking of squeezing in another trip right before our European one. Machu Picchu came to mind and we were ready to buy our tickets. However, tickets were quite expensive. During this time we were still looking around for other reasonably priced trips that would work with our European trip. Through www.GAdventures.com we decided to book the Budget Egypt trip in February 2014! There was a sale and we got our tickets for around $450!! This was number 1 on our bucket list because of the pyramids and the country’s history. Wow! 5 and a half weeks of just travelling… 2 continents and 13 countries?! I couldn’t believe it until it happened.
This was our itinerary for Budget Egypt. Taken from the Gadventures site.
DAY 2 CAIRO
Arrive at any time.
DAY 2 CAIRO
Guided tour of the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Orientation tour through the narrow alleys of the Khan el-Khalili bazaar with free time for shopping or people watching from a shisha café. Overnight sleeper train to Aswan.
DAYS 3-4 ASWAN
Visit a Nubian village and enjoy a home-cooked dinner with locals. Optional trip to the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel.
DAY 5 NILE RIVER
Enjoy felucca sailing with a support boat, spend overnight on board.
DAYS 6-7 LUXOR
Visit Kom Ombo and Edfu on the way to Luxor. Opt to visit Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Included visit to a Planeterra-supported library and community education centre. Overnight sleeper train back to Cairo.
DAY 8 CAIRO
BACK TO CAIRO.
- Transport and guided tour of the Pyramids of Giza & the Sphinx and Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples. Felucca sailing trip (with support boat). Orientation walk through Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili bazaar. Dinner in a Nubian home (Aswan). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners. (Allow USD145-190 for meals not included)
- Simple hotels (4 nts), overnight sleeper train (2 nts), felucca with support boat for toilet/showers (1 nt)
- Private air-con van, train, felucca, walking
- Certified Egyptologist as Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
- Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12.
After: After travelling through Egypt and West Europe, I can honestly say Egypt was my favourite country. It was so different in terms of its culture and history. There were not that many tourists so I felt I got to interact with the locals more and actually get the chance and time to explore all the major sites. Also, I enjoyed the small group I travelled with. It made it easier to bond with one another! And our tour guide, Said, he was absolutely phenomenal. He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, funny and super helpful. I usually blow my nose throughout the day and every day Said would hand me a pack of tissues so I would stay comfortable the entire day! His favourite phrase was, “Guys, get ready and get excited for the dreams of which you have been waited for, for all your life.” Never thought I’d have such an amazing time …
Tips: There are a lot of vendors around. You need to be aggressive and say no and walk away. If not, they will try to keep selling and trick you into buying something. For example, they will ask you if you need a picture taken and you might think that they’re being generous but they will ask for money after. Sometimes they can be rude about it. I had two friends that were asked by a vendor if they wanted their pictures taken but they said no and kept walking around. Then, they got carried onto a camel because they weren’t being aggressive enough. Next thing you know, the camel stood up and the vendor did not let them down until they showed that they had money to give! Sometimes, they will tell you you can get this item for free but really they will bother you after for money! Nothing in Egypt is free, just remember that!
What Stood Out:
– Egyptians do now follow basic rules of the road. Red light apparently still means go and the green light means go faster. The lanes are not followed either. There are always a car that is in between both lanes.
– It is so hot in Egypt… so very hot yet there are no smoothie stands or freshly squeezed juices. They drink a lot of tea :S