The joke appreciated by the first police escort was the fact they I have 5 armed guards to protect me from teenage husslers on motorbikes. They tailed me in a truck and to be honest I was happy there were there. The only problem is they change every 10km. This involves drinking tea at the roadblock waiting for the next escort to arrive and so it goes on. Progress is painfully slow. Informed in no uncertain terms I’m not allowed to stay in Qena was presented with a choice, put the bike in the back and we drive you to Luxor in one go. The only other option is to stay at the roadside police checkpoint overnight, probably not the safest place to be given the current climate.
On the other hand, if you define safe as being driven on busy roads with siren blaring and high speed while sat in the back of a van on a ledge, overtaking on blind corners and playing chicken with oncoming trucks, then yes, I felt very ‘safe’. Given the amount of sharp breaking we only got violently shunted once from behind once during the whole journey, a miracle.
A few hours later I cycled the last 5km from the outskirts of Luxor to the hotel on the west bank. The locals are very helpful, “The ferry boat is this way..”, a quick glance at the GPS, “No it isn’t, it’s 300 meters in that direction, and off I cycle”.
The Cleopatra hotel in Luxor can’t be faulted. Top of the trip adviser ratings for my price bracket I took an instant liking to it, the family owners and the handful of guests that floated through during my 5 nights stay there. It’s on the west bank, a more relaxed place. They have been closed for a few months due to no bookings, but reopened after a short flurry. On my last night I was the only person staying there. It’s sad to see such nice place without guests.
Shisha with on the roof terrace with Joy and Andy from Manchester.
The coach park at 1.30pm, just empty. Now is the time to visit! Cameras not allowed, hence this picture.
Nile cruse boats
Sadly, moored along the riverfront are huge flotillas of cruse ships slowly gathering rust. This is one of 3 blocks in Luxor. There are more in Aswan. I have yet to see a Nile cruse boat on the water. Many of the people I meet are former workers on the boats trying to scratch a living elsewhere.
Gardens of the museum, cameras not allowed. It’s very well arranged, and again I nearly had the place to myself.