Africa

Abu Simbel tour from Aswan

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And finally the slavery of the cruise is over! In the morning we had breakfast together on the boat and checked out. On the agenda of that day we had the visit to the temples of Abu Simbel. To go to Abu Simbel you can go by road or by plane. To go by air it is best to go to an agency in Cairo and buy the flights, since on the Egiptair website there is hardly any because the agencies have almost all of them reserved. If you go by road you can go by bus line and by car or tourist coach. With the last option cars and coaches have to go in the convoy that leaves Aswan at 4 am or 11 am.

When we were planning the trip, we talked to the cruise company to ask for prices. If we did the excursion by plane, it would cost 270 euros per person (including guide and tickets) and by road for 90 euros. It seemed a little expensive to me, so I decided to look for my life. And searching, searching, I found in a forum the recommendation of an agency: Aswan Individual, and I contacted them. If we were in the 4am convoy we could go in a shared van and leave for 100 L.E. (12 euros, without guide or tickets) per person. At the beginning we decided to do so, but when we told them that they had to come to pick us up after leaving a cruise, they asked us for an authorization from the cruise agency as we could do the excursion with another agency. I hallucinated a lot with this request, but they explained to me that they had encountered cases in which, by not hiring the tour with the guide and being involved with the police, it had come to pass that they had not let out a van and Of course, there are people who have no fault. Well, I asked my agency and they told me that nothing was wrong, but as we did not notice much and after thinking about it, we decided that we did not want to get up so early. So two days before we called Aswan Individual and confirmed that we would go in the 11am convoy alone in a private car (in the 11am convoy the shared vans cannot go). The private car for the two of us, with driver, but without a guide or tickets, was worth 500 L.E. (60 euros).To make the excursion to Abu Simbel we decided to stay one more night in Aswan. Searching on the Internet I found in Rumbo an offer from Mövenpick for 90 euros a night. The Mövenpick hotel is on the Elephantine Island (in the middle of the Nile) and is a luxury hotel. In fact, it was the only 5 * hotel we slept in in Egypt. To get to the hotel, you have to go to a jetty that is about 100 meters from McDonnald's and there is a yellow boat service that will take you for free. At 10:30 we had agreed that they would come to look for us and as we checked out at 8.30, we took the opportunity to leave our bags and check-in at the Mövenpick. Upon entering the hotel it was as if you were on a different planet, all well taken care of, maximum luxury, and a lot of people working there (which eased my feeling of guilt a bit). At reception we were given the room on the spot and on top we were given a better room than the one we had paid for. We were taking a walk through the hotel, which is huge, and at the agreed time we went to meet Waleed from Aswan Individual. While we were in the boat in the direction of the corniche we met a felucca in which Mustafa was going and we began to greet each other with a bare shout. He was with another group visiting around the island.

When we met Waleed, he told us that the car was about to arrive, I asked him if it was an air-conditioned car and he told me it was a new car. The car was not coming and Waleed was on the phone nervous and screaming. Finally the car arrived (it was brand new and had leather seats) and we went to the exit point of the convoy that was just in front of the unfinished obelisk. There was a mess of cars, coaches and street food vendors. The police checked the permits and at the right time we all left in an Indian line. When we left Aswan and entered the desert, everyone began to accelerate at such a speed that in the end we had no one in front or behind. Through the window the landscape was bleak, the beauty of the desert is special and at the same time strange and the heat made it look very extensive mirages, making you see bodies of water where there was none. While we were passing cars, we passed one whose driver was with his arm and his whole leg out of the window! I thought I had seen another mirage, but no, it was real. And I thought, if I explain this, nobody will believe me ... too bad it didn't give me time to take a picture.

After almost three hours we arrived at Abu Simbel. It was two o'clock at noon and we had two hours to make the visit, since at 4pm the convoy left for Aswan. Although we were prepared to spend a horrific heat, surprisingly a very pleasant, fresh air was blowing and there was almost no one there, the visit was very cool. The entrance to the two temples of Abu Simbel costs 100 L.E. (12 euros) and do not make student discounts. Guides cannot enter the temple, so explanations have to be made outside. Although we did not have a guide, you can see that with the entrance to the temple you can find an explanation of an official guide in English. We entered the enclosure and went to look for the guide. He told us that for 40 L.E. more (4.80 euros) gave us a more extensive explanation and the truth is that since we were sitting on a bench in the shade and running a very cool air we said yes. Anyway, it turned out to be a scam, because he gave us an explanation in plan… fiuuuaauuuung! The truth is that he did not feel like arguing for 4 euros, and how he was suffering because he did not want to waste time arguing and that in the end all the coaches we had come forward and see the monument with all the rock, we paid him and we ran .

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