We had a mammoth day of travel to get to Dahab. We left our hotel in Aswan at 2pm and took a ferry, then a taxi to the train station. We caught a 3pm train, first class, to Luxor, and that took three hours. It was the shittiest first class train I have ever been on. We pay first class prices to be away from all the scum bags. But the scum bags are all mates with the scuzzy train inspector, so they all get to sit in the empty seats. Some of them smell like they have smoked 6000 cigarettes in the last hour and not washed their bodies or clothes for 4 years. Yeah, some of them stink. And all of them stare. The scum bag in front of us was not sitting in his seat, rather squatting on it, facing me and staring straight at my chest. I was trying to sleep so didn’t notice. After a few minutes Hubs told him firmly but politely to sit down properly and turn around. Icky. To make things worse, I was getting sick. My throat was red raw, it hurt to swallow, and I was feeling as if I was downhill quickly.
Once at Luxor, we caught taxi from the train station to the lovely posh Winter Palace Hotel to kill some time. This is one of the most expensive hotels in Egypt at something ridiculous like US$1200 per night. Tony Blair, Princess Di and Dodi and Nicolas Cage are the type of people who have stayed there. The door man took our rough looking back packs and we headed through the lobby, into the gardens and to the poolside restaurants. Aaahhh, civilization at last. We were the first people at the restaurant for dinner. We both had lentil soup and a fish tagine that I couldn’t eat, my throat was too sore. Boo hoo.
Onto the airport we went and caught a flight from Luxor to Sharm el Sheikh – one hour and 15 minutes. We arrived at Sharm at 12.30am. Hubs then fought with a few taxi drivers to get one to drive us 1.5 hours to Dahab. We got a good driver who charged us $A50. It was more than the trip was worth, but at that hour of the night, I didn’t care. I just wanted to get to a hotel and get to bed, I was feeling shattered.
We got to Dahab and went to a hotel that Hubs has stayed in before. The staff had all changed in the two years since Hubs’ been there and the greedy ‘gypo on reception wanted way too much for a room for a night. Well, it wasn’t even actually a night, more like 10 hours since it was already 2am. Our ace taxi driver was still in town when he saw us trudging up the street with all our luggage. He had to buy takeaway dinner and cigarette for the police guards at the security check point or he would have run into problems. Corruption exists at every level in this country, which is why Egypt will always be part of the third world.. A shame.
Our driver said he would take us to other hotels to help us find a room. We tried two hotels, no go. Finally we found a hotel for about $A40 per night. It was basic and pretty ordinary, but I didn’t care. I just needed a bed.
I was hoping my antibiotics I’d brought with me from Australia were going to work and make me feel better by the morning. Night!