Mr Monkey thought readers might like to hear a bit about his trip (so far)down the Nile and how after a summer of drab wet weather the Monkey’s have at last managed to find the sun, apparently it’s been here in Egypt all the time!
Things got off to a hectic start having only decided late on Friday to ‘get away’ for a few days. We had a matter of hours to pack, find passports, book airport car parking and sort out a few housekeeping matters.
We set off in the early hours of Saturday for a long drive down to Gatwick Airport. On arrival we booked in to the car park and was transferred by mini bus to the terminal.
After checking in, passing through security which took around 50 minutes, we found somewhere to settle down as our flight wasn’t leaving for another 2 hours. Eventually having exhausted every shop, due to boredom, and having spent about £30 on food, drinks, magazines and nibbles we boarded a plane bound for Luxor.
There didn’t seem to be more than around 100 people waiting to board the flight, so imagine my surprise when I found the plane was already half full when we boarded it. Apparently this flight had started at Manchester which left me wondering why the hell we had travelled all the way down to Gatwick!
After the usual dubious airline money making scams, a film and a dried up chicken meal (at least I think it was chicken) we finally arrived in Luxor which I have to say was a pleasant surprise. The formalities were completed quickly and before I knew it we had collected our bags and were being ushered on to a coach.
It was around 8pm local time, dark and the temperature had apparently ‘dropped’ to a more manageable 85 degrees Fahrenheit .. thank heavens for the air conditioning!
After a short coach journey through Luxor which included our first glimpse of the Nile and what I can only describe as the awesome Karnak Temple which looked stunning lit up against a back drop of this ancient and mystical river, we arrived at our 5* boat.
We quickly checked in and before we knew it we had been shown to our cabin, unpacked, explored our new surroundings, found the business centre complete with internet access and had something to eat (a buffet was waiting as the cruise was full board). As we were tucking in to our starters the engines fired up and we set sail towards Esna Lock.
We spent the next two hours soaking up the scenery and atmosphere before retiring for the night and as our thoughts turned to the week ahead memories of a wet and damp South Shields seemed to be fading fast!
Further location reports will follow shortly.