Itinerary Day 17: Disembarkation Esna / Luxor / Cairo
"After breakfast, we bid farewell to Captain Hassan and the crew. Your luggage will be collected and will be ready for you to travel to Luxor to get your flight to Cairo . when you arrive at Cairo airport our rep will be waiting for you to transfer you to your House in Cairo for overnight."
Our last full day in Egypt. Woke up to brilliant sunshine but still cold. Some other boats were moored behind us in the night. I threw the loaned fishing line off our balcony deck with a bobber in the vain hope I might still catch something while packing for departure. I can't help but think some of the warm feelings from the captain and crew on our sendoff last night were dissipated when they had to haul our four large heavy bags off the boat, up the embankment, and into the waiting car this morning.
The short flight to Cairo was uneventful. Once again the arrangements facilitated by Oriental Tours Egypt was seamless. The handoff from guide, to crew, to driver and airport made the security and transfer process simple, fast and less painful than flying in the U.S. In Cairo, we are again met by Ramadan, who met us on our initial arrival. It felt like a homecoming. Actually, it was a homecoming.
We are whisked through crowded Cairo streets to the home of Sayed and his wife Noha. Sayed is the owner/director of Oriental Tours Egypt, arranged the Egypt trip with Sigrid, and has invited us to spend our last night in Egypt in their guest house.
They have a meal waiting for us on arrival. The warmth and hospitality they show us is something very special. We enjoy another spectacular home cooked feast with Sayed, Noha, and their three delightful daughters - Sama, Hana, and Rana.
After dinner we talked about the trip, showed pictures, discussed the state of the travel industry, and even indulged in a bit of politics and religion.
As mentioned before, Sayed and Oriental Tours Egypt specializes in custom and small group tours of Egypt. To at least some degree Chinese, Japanese, and Russian tourism have partially filled the gap left by the dearth of American tourists in Egypt. However, those tourists tend to travel in large groups. Sayed's approach of smaller, individualized custom tours with superior service is more appealing to American and European travelers. He's hoping that we are in the vanguard of American tourists returning to Egypt in some numbers. We'll do our part. When (not if) we return to Egypt, there is no one else we would consider working with.
If you are planning to tour Egypt, you can't do better than working with Oriental Tours Egypt and Sayed. With the exchange rate you could not pick a better time than right now. As far as safety, don't worry about it. I mean, do you really want to create the impression that Americans have become bigger travel wimps than the Chinese and Japanese?
Editors Note: I intend to pre-load and schedule automated blog posts with the daily itinerary for our Egypt and Jordan adventure. For those interested, this may be an easy way to follow along. Internet access is always a crapshoot. My hope is that by pre-loading the itinerary it will be easier to add some pics and journal commentary as time and the internet permits. If there are no pics or commentary, you'll just have to wait until we get back. Further!