21 February 2007

Leaving for Egypt!

My bags are packed - I've kissed my doggy and my parents goodbye and I'm ready to catch the plane to Cairo. My flight leaves on Friday afternoon so I'll be spending Thursday on the motorway then over night in Ascot thanks to my friend Debbie. This my final sign off as I'm not sure what internet access will be available. Having had weeks to plan for this trip I suddenly found myself in a bit of a panic rush this week. On Sunday I returned from a 10 day trip to Ascot housesitting and dogsitting for my friend Louise - a lovely young Chesopeek Bay Labrador called Hudson. I had all my 'stuff' scattered around the house/bedroom/kitchen/car/garage and planned to spend 2 days packing and repacking to get everything in. This plan went wrong when I was hit by not one but two migraines on Monday and Tuesday - so was unable to do anything but lie in bed in a dark room - bummer! Today is Wednesday and so far no 'sparkly lights' so I hope I'm over that little episode. The bags are indeed packed thank goodness and the pressure is off but I still feel a little woozy! It's been a real challenge sticking to the 20kgs baggage allowance, and I sacrificed some of my knickers in favour of more tshirts and toiletries. I am proud to say that I'm travelling without the luxury of hair styling products, very minimal makeup and no nail varnish - except on my toes - but I have packed a razer. I have been able to pack my Ipod and shiny new camera courtesy of Nectar points - just need to work out how to use it! The bulk of the bag is taken up with my sleeping bag, sleep mat & mosquito net - I'll be sleeping under the stars during our sail down the Nile and again later in the desert and in February it can get quite cold. I've also collected a bag of unctures, potions and pills to counter all any any illnesses which might get me! You can't be too careful! I'm expecting just 5 other people on the trip as well as our guide - who is called Mohammed - should be easy to find him then! No doubt we will all get on with each other, but you never know - it could be interesting! Our first day of adventure is Sunday - whilst most of you are munching on your toast and coffee over the Sunday papers, I'll be walking around the Pyramids at Giza and the Cairo Museum of antiquities! After that we head into Sinai and up the mountain where Moses received the 10 commendments and saw the burning bush. We have a few days on the Red Sea coast before crossing the sea to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, down to Aswan and then by Nile Felucca up to Edfu. The final part of the tris is spent in the Deserts of the west visiting several Oases before returning to Cairo. I'm back on March 18th - just in time for Mother's Day - don't forget your cards everyone! Kirsty xxx

2 February 2007

Nile & Beyond.......

My first trip is booked! I go to Egypt on February 23rd for a 3 week tour including Cairo, Giza, Luxor, Aswan, Mount Sinai, sailing down the Nile and camping in the desert. It's going to be a real change of scene and I'm looking forward to it. Egypt has always fascinated me, a civilisation that lasted for thousands of years and stayed relatively unchanged - advanced and backward all at the same time.. and how did they build those pyramids? For those of you who like me are fans of 'Team America' I am also looking forward to visiting Backadackalacka street! Right now I have a stinking cold so the prospect of hot sun is quite appealling. I'm still giving myself major Brownie points for going to the Doctor 2 weeks ago for my vaccinations by myself! I have a big problem with doctors and medical matters as many of you will know - so to be able to sit in a chair whilst the nurse stuck not one but TWO needles into my arms was no small achievement! Luckily there is no need for Yellow Fever jabs and Malaria tablets for Egypt at this time of year, but I will need them if I go sub saharan Africa - something to look forward to! There is relatviely little preparation for this trip other than to buy various bits of equipment and it's fun to shop! Living in the depths of Devon, there are very few outlets but Barnstaple and Exeter offer one or two decent outdoor specialists, and internet is invaluable. So far I've bought some proper trekking boots and have started to break them in on the cliffs and beaches with Kipper, then I took delivery of a super snug winter warm sleeping bag, silk liner and self inflating sleep mat- essential kit for nights in the Egyptian desert when the temperature can fall to zero overnight. I tested it all on the living room floor - which was fine, until I tried to get each thing back into its storage bag! All together, the sleeping kit takes up more than 2/3 of my travel bag, so not much room for clothes. Other items include; mosquito net, mosquito repellent, first aid kits including needles and suture kit, universal plugs for USB devices (phone & Ipod), a digital camera (courtesy of Dad's Nectar points!), clothes to stay cool, clothes to keep warm, all kinds of toiletries in miniature form to keep the weight down and 30 pairs of pants! As I write this, I'm downloading all my favourite CD's onto my Ipod whilst the sun shines outside. It's the kind of winter's day that makes you want to go out for a long walk with a flask of hot tea and some fruit cake. That seems a much better idea than sitting here at the computer..... so I'm off! Byeeee!