On to the Next

After 3 long, glorious and satisfying days in the bush, seeing animals beyond my wildest dreams, it was time to go. I checked with my mom during the planning stages. What next, I asked her. Anywhere you want to go, we go. Morocco, to source your own spices? Cape Town, to press your own wine? Madagascar, to harvest your own vanilla? What say you?

She say Egypt. Back to the pyramids I go. For the second time in 2 years. We pack up, and head out of Johannesburg to Cairo. Eight short hours later, we land early in Cairo and have the distinct misfortune of waiting in line at customs again.

As I stood in line for my visas, a man twice my size decides I don’t actually exist, and proceeds to cut in front of me, sticks his arm into the window and shoving me out of the way, to complete whatever transaction. I don’t kick him in the shins because mom, but the nice man in the window box shoos him away and helps me make my purchase. Little woman 1, jerk man 0.

Next is the Room of Immigration aka Hell’s Waiting Room.  Crowded, long lined, courtesy tossed aside like yesterday’s trash. I grab my mom and escort her to the line that looks decent compared to the rest and ultimately, I hope, the lesser of the evils. As we stand, my mom is silent, eyes wide. I ask her is she’s ok. She takes a deep breath and says she can’t ever believe I did this alone, and if she were me she would have cried. That’s how insane the room is: it makes a grown woman want to cry.

Anyway, we make it out alive and hit the ground running. With my tour guide waiting out front, we go. We go to the hotel to drop off our stuff and then to the pyramids. And they are still as magnificent as the last time. And I feel like now the fun is in seeing my mom see them for the first time. Even though there really is no way to be tired of the pyramids. How can you bore of one of the Earth’s Greatest Mysteries??? This guy doesn’t.

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We continued our whirlwind tour of the pyramids and headed further afar, to see them all, not just the three big ones. Naturally, I traveled via camel as one does, and my mom and friend / tour guide went via horse drawn carriage. I wish she took the camel but after the Great Head Whip of 2015, I am not sure she’s ever getting back on the hump. (Perhaps one of the best stories combined with a triptych of the best photos I have ever taken; I won’t share publicly unless given explicit permission or I risk actual death.)

It was a really fantastic ride through the desert with the pyramids in the distance. There’s a ton of freedom in bumping around on an ornery animal in the middle of Egypt. And ultimately, it was worth the ride.

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After admiring the view here for some time and playing with my camel buddy, we headed off into the sunset. The next stop was, of course, the local super market because there is nothing more fascinating than grocery stores and pharmacies abroad. Fewer things remind me of what I’m missing and how much there is to learn in the world. Also: skincare that isn’t available in the states.

Day 2 found us wandering around the Egyptian Museum. Some King Tut action, a healthy dose of running my fingers along the dusty displays and sneezing at the cloud I kicked up. Sneaking pictures where they shouldn’t be snuck. Viewing mummies and still having mixed feelings about it.

We also went to Coptic Cairo which is such an amazing place. I think it’s my favorite next to Giza. The history of the Hanging Church is just too incredible, as it dates back to the third century AD. I can’t even do the math in my head to calculate what history that building has seen. But it has seen Jesus and the Holy Family, per the basement.

It was meant to be a short stay in Cairo, and it was, but it was perfect. Such a fun and amazing place to visit. Not to mention we made it through without any kind of uprising and that pleased momma but made me sad because that would have been a much better story.


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