I got picked up from my hostel at 9pm and we drove about 20 minutes to the border. We met our Egyptian guide on the other side (he said his name once and I forgot it. oops) The process was fairly easy and we met our driver. There were just two of us on the tour and we had a 17 passenger van. We waited for other busses and drove in a ‘convoy’ along the perimeter of the Sinai to the Suez Canal. (The Suez Canal marks the official break between Asia and Africa) so this was my first time in Africa! We didn’t get to Cairo until 8:30am. Luckily I was able to sleep most of the way.
All I wanted to do was go to the pyramids! First we went to the Egyptian Museum. We met another guide, Ahmed. He stayed with us the whole time in Cairo. From there we went to the Papyrus institute to see how they made paper in ancient Egypt. FINALLY we drove to the pyramids! They were incredible. So much bigger than I expected.
The salespeople there were pushier than anything I had experienced so far. They just followed you and kept offering you souvenirs! We drove from the great pyramid to the lookout, where you can see all three pyramids. It was so surreal to be there, at one of the seven wonders of the world.
We spent a lot of time just sitting and soaking in where we were. From there we drove to the Sphinx. I wanted a little pyramid figure and got to negotiate with one of the sellers. he said 50 Egyptian pounds (about $7) I said 10 Egyptian pounds, he said 40, I said 10, he said 20, I said never mind goodbye, and he said fine 10! I felt so accomplished. We went from there and had lunch at a buffet. The food was really good, but a little later I started not to feel so well.
We got sugar cane juice on the side of the road then started the 12 hour drive back. It was only 4pm so I stayed up for a while, but then fell asleep. At 1:30am our guide woke us up to give us falafel. A bit in a daze, I woke up, ate it, and went back to sleep.
I was jerked awake being thrown to the floor. I was laying down across four seats at the back of the bus and found myself wedged between the seats. Turns out a camel ran into the road and we almost hit it! Thank God we didn’t. I was awake for a while after that. We made it back to the border at 5am. Our guide got us through the Egyptian side and we walked to the Israeli border control. There were about five passport checks and a lot of questions but it went very smoothly. Because we came from Africa, they took our temperatures, then when we passed we went outside to wait for our driver.
It was just around sunrise and we got to see the sun come over the mountains in Jordan and shine on the Red Sea. It was really beautiful. I mentioned before how the food made me not feel the best. Now, while we were waiting it was really hitting me! Alex (the traveller I was with) was watching the beautiful sunrise, and I out of no where started throwing up. Luckily there was a garbage can. I blame the 2am falafel. Shortly after that, our driver came and it was only about 20 minutes back to the hostel. It was almost 7am, but I stayed up for a bit before falling asleep. Bus sleep isn’t all that restful, so I was happy to be back in a bed after two overnight busses! The pyramids were worth it!
WEDNESDAY (later in the morning)
I woke up a little later, still a bit sick but it was my last day in Eilat so I didn’t want to waste it. I went to the aquarium and walked around. They have an underwater observatory which is basically a room built under the water where you can see the fish and the coral. I went back to the hotel and rested. A more uneventful day, but a much needed break!