Egypt Day 12: Goodbye, Cruel Boat

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Originally we were told the bus to Luxor was leaving at 7 am, even though it's only a 45 minute ride to Luxor and the earliest anyone needed to be there was 9:30 am. After several passengers complained to the staff, and I was loudly discussing (in the lobby of the boat very near the folks running the desk) with one of the other passengers the fact that if we all strike, and don't show up at 7 am the bus can't leave, magically it was announced that the bus would actually be leaving at 8 am. This was much more civilized.

So by 8:45 or so we were back at the Le Meridien in Luxor and did not see our transfer. As we had learned the day before from the lady at the front desk (when I was checking what the room rates were there just in case our hotel was a dive) the Isis hotel was just next door (well, technically about a half block down as there were some shops and an alley between the two hotels). Not seeing our transfer driver we grabbed our bags and walked over.

Just as we finished checking in our 'guide' arrived. Omar was rather upset with us, he had a car waiting and couldn't believe we walked. We couldn't believe they got us a transfer since the drop off was just next door. So we'll see if I succeed in getting a rebate on that unecessary transfer. He then offered to arrange a 'trip' to Karnak for the sound and light show for us, only $25 US each. As we could have taken a cab there and bought the tickets ourselves for about $20-$25 US total, I said no thank you.

The front desk and bell staff at the Isis were wonderful. Very warm and friendly and quite happy to provide us with the non-smoking king bed room we requested. To make it even nicer for us, they upgraded us to a room overlooking the pool and the Nile with a huge terrace! I'm not sure why they did it, but it was greatly appreciated. It made finally being off that boat with the awful food so much nicer.

I am convinced that something on that boat was contaminated, because everyone on the boat got sick at some point on the trip. I also think that's why my illness lingered. I was weak when I got on the boat and that made me more susceptible to whatever the contaminant was. It took the other, healthier passengers longer. Maya got sick on the last day, I felt so bad for her because she then had to fly feeling like that.

After getting settled in we decide it's time for lunch. I couldn't bear the thought of any more Middle Eastern food (it's what my stomach was associating with the sickness - I'm not sure I'll ever eat kofta again, but since I don't like lamb anyway, I shouldn't have had it in the first place and I won't miss it). We went through the guide book and were thoroughly interested in the King's Head Pub so off we went on foot to find it. As the map sucked, we walked way too far and missed it. Finally giving up we turned around, and had a bit of a tiff over the whole thing. We happened to look up at just the right moment, as we were returning, and discovered it was up on the third floor, over some shops, with no obvious signage on ground level. We hiked up and were treated to quite the little pub.

It was just like every dark and dingy bar in the world. Tacky alcohol gear (including lots of bar towels for beers) all over the walls and an entire wall dedicated to Bob Marley paintings and posters. It was fabulous. The prices were great and they had burgers and fries! Now, normally I avoid American food when I'm on vacation, I despise those tourists that complain when they can't get good chicken fingers anywhere, but today I was that ugly tourist. I ordered that burger with glee. My poor stomach was just so happy to eat something familiar, and not sickening like the boat food.

Feeling full and happy we headed back to the hotel. We spent some time getting caught up on our blog. Sadly there was no internet access in the room, so we'd have to wait to post. We then geared up and went down to the swimming pool to relax for a bit. It was a very lovely pool, including a swim up bar, so we were quite happy.

Still reeling from the boat, and intrigued by the idea, we had dinner at the Pink Panda that night. It was the hotel's Chinese restaurant. I just couldn't resist the oddity of eating chow mein in Luxor. It turned out to be relatively ok, the fried wontons were kind of good actually. But I was still a happy camper, as none of it made we want to be sick. This was my last day on the antibiotics, and boy was I feeling better. Hooray for Western medicine!

Full and happy we called it a night. Check out Grant's blog for Egypt Day 13: Air-Conditioned Antiquities and Countdowns with Californians.


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This page contains a single entry by published on June 24, 2005 1:02 PM.

Egypt Day 10: My Kingdom for No Horse was the previous entry in this blog.

Egypt Day 14: Grant's Favorite Day Yet (Not in Mel's Top Ten) is the next entry in this blog.

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