Ugh… What a terrible sleep and not only that, my stomach was cramping all night long. I felt horrible. I just kept thinking… I’d been so careful not to eat or drink anything that I shouldn’t have. And on top of it, I was planning on seeing the pyramids today! How was I going to walk around them if I was doubled over in pain and unsure if I was going to be able to make it to the next bathroom.
It felt a little like my dreams were coming crashing down.
We all gathered at the front of the hotel waiting for our taxi that the company we had hired for the tour, had organized. And we waited. After about 20 mins the hubby decided to call Marmoud and see if he could help us. As it turned out, the driver who was supposed to pick us up had gone to the wrong hotel. So now everyone was a little concerned as we had a 7:20am flight that we needed to get on and it was about 6:00 am by this point. The hotel driver told us not to worry, the airport was only a half an hour away.
The driver of the bus said that it would only take him 6-7 minutes! So we all piled in the bus. It was one the most horrifying experiences I’ve ever had. So here I was in pain with stomach issues, breast feeding over a car seat while the side of it dug into my ribs while going over crazy bumps, potholes, and swerving around gates… by the time I got there I was already spent. And it only took him 6 minutes.
We went through a few different security checks at the airport (never once taking our water away from us – we could have as much as we liked), got our boarding passes and we were left with about 30 mins to wait. As we waited, I gradually got worse and worse… my hubby and the tweenager were wonderful the whole time. He took the wee babe and entertained her, he rubbed my back, scratched my hair and they both kept asking how I was doing.
Finally we boarded and I was sitting next to the tweenager. I was writhing in pain. The cramps were almost unbearable. I kept wondering if I should try and go to the bathroom and throw up in hopes that the pain would go away but I wasn’t sure if I stood up if I could make it there. Finally the drink cart came around and I asked for Sprite and expressed the agony I was in. They offered me some pills. I’m not even sure what I took but I trusted that this wasn’t a first for them.
After I drank the Sprite I began to feel better and better. Eventually the pain was gone! I asked for a bottle of Sprite to take with me (I attempted to pay for it but they wouldn’t let me) in case the pain came back.
An hour later we were on the ground, picked up by Mohammad and on the way to the Cairo Museum.
The pain did get worse, and the Sprite didn’t help. By the time we were at the museum, the pain was just as bad as in the plane. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to make it all the way to the museum without throwing up in the bus. Can you imagine how disheartened I was to be in Cairo, wondering if I was going to be seeing the pyramids from inside a van while passed out in the back seat??
Mohammad said that there was a doctor at the museum (I know weird right?) and that he could give me an injection that would fix me up immediately. Yeah, you read that right, an injection in Egypt. Of course I was a little wary but I was in agony and had no idea what the rest of the day was going to be like for me if I didn’t figure it out quick.
So almost as soon as we got to the museum, we headed to the doctor with the hubby in tow. Up onto the bed for the woman doctor (she was about 60) to ask some questions about how I was feeling in her broken English. According to her diagnosis, it was a bacterial stomach infection and I needed two injections. What you may ask were in the injections? Not really sure. But one was for stomach cramps and the other for diarrhea. I was in so much pain that I forgot to ask if they were ok to take while breast feeding. The hubby didn’t think of it either. Whoops. That was a bad parenting mistake. Luckily, nothing happened to the wee babe. I’m sure it hopefully couldn’t have been any worse than when the wee babe was in uteuro, I was passing a kidney stone and was given Morphine. You do what you gotta do.
So I got two injections in my rear, 4 more boxes of pills to take that I couldn’t remember when to take them, we paid some serious backsheesh and off to the museum tour we went. What I had neglected to hear was that the museum tour was going to be 2.5 hours. All I wanted to do was sleep. Like seriously – sleep. After speaking with my mom, she thinks it’s possible they may have given me a large dose of Gravol as Gravol makes you really tired. And I was so tired (no more pain thank god – it was instantaneous) that I think I fell asleep a few times standing up while Mohammad gave us a run down on the Ancient Egyptian artifacts. There was no way my brain could stay awake and translate what he was saying so I chose to try and stay awake and look at all the pretty items.
After 2+ hours we headed back to the bus. I almost instantly fell asleep inside. 40 mins later we were at lunch where the restaurant had prepared special food for me: lightly fried carrots and zucchini, rice and steamed potatoes. Mohammad instructed me to take my pills and drink my electrolite drink.
I was finally feeling back to my old self. By this time it was the afternoon and we were heading to the pyramids. Mohammad gave us some more interesting information while we sat in the air-conditioned bus. To be honest, I fell asleep through a lot of it which was really unfortunate for me. One thing that I did remember though was that you can put a pitcher of salt water in the centre of the Pyramid and it will turn to non-salted water about 3 hours later. Oh and people have been known to sit inside the pyramids to heal themselves.
Mohammad also instructed us not to talk to anyone. Not even a hello or hi which felt really weird when we were being constantly talked to by the locals trying to get us to buy things. If felt really bizarre pretending that they weren’t there. Not very Canadian of me. But from what I understand, if you engage with them, they can become really aggressive trying to get you to buy whatever they are selling.
We stopped up near the top for some photos of the 3 pyramids. The sun was at the perfect spot again for beautiful photos. We then moved down to the Great Pyramid and walked the entire distance around it. Altogether I think it was 800 meters all the way around. Time was running out before the area closed. I felt like I wanted to spend more time there. Really appreciate their greatness.
We moved down towards the Sphinx to take some last photos of the setting sun on the Sphinx and pyramids. It was truly awesome.
Before we moved on, I made sure I too grab the tweenager and the hubby and just reflect on our last glimpses of the pyramids and the sphinx. This would be the last time we see this in a long time. Time to just reflect and take in their grandioseness. One of the things that Mohammad said as we were leaving that was pretty crazy was that there was a archeologist that had taken a piece of the Sphinx and did some tests and research on it. He deduced that the Sphinx is actually 70,000 years old. This blows all the previous knowledge and thoughts about Ancient Egypt and Egyptians out of the water. I’m intrigued to learn more about that.
Then Mohammad took us to a perfume factory. A very nice exuberant woman gave us a demonstration of a lot of the perfumes and essential oils that she had. They always seem to start out with a “complimentary” drink of your choice. Don’t buy into this. It’s meant for you to feel a bit pressure to buy since they gave you something for free. My sister-in-law asked some poignant questions regarding their essential oils which the woman had a hard time answering. When it was all over, my sister-in-law asked everyone one at a time (while the woman sat in front of us) if we were interested in buying anything. None of us were. She looked like she was going to cry. The tweenager felt bad and felt like maybe we should just buy one thing from her so she wasn’t so sad. I explained that this was their tactic to try and make you feel guilty. We left a couple of euros to ease our conscious and headed to the next factory.
The papyrus factory was next. And I think we got ripped off – again. You know when you’re getting ripped off as they throw in a bunch of free stuff. And we got a bunch of free stuff. We bought the Egyptian calendar, tree of life, head of Tutenkhamen, a free bookmark and picture for the wee babe (with her name in hieroglyphics).
We left there and headed to the airport. It was a longer wait again but this time we had free wifi so I was able to check my email and connect with the outer world.
All in all I would definitely recommend this tour company. Some of the benefits were that you weren’t in a huge group being corralled around like a herd of cows. The guides did what you wanted to do. Everything just felt more personalized and customized to what we wanted. And I just wanted to take one last opportunity to thank my father-in-law for paying for all of us. That was really kind of him.
We got back to the Hurghada airport FINALLY around 10:00pm and back to the resort around 10:30pm. We were exhausted and all I wanted to do the next day was play in the pool and recharge my battery…
Tomorrow is pretty uneventful until the evening rolls around…