I always travel with a journal. Most writers do, to quickly pen down notes, observations, experiences, and such. I usually write my notes in an outlined bulleted form as I go through the day. Time permitting at the end of the day, I often try to piece those bulleted notes into a longer form narrative in my journal.
Most times after the trip, all I have are these types of outlines to feed the narratives along with specific photos I take as visual notes when I find slices of time back home. These become the lead-ins, fillers, and core content for articles I write about a place.
If you’d rather skip the notes, here’s a link to my gallery from Luxor, Egypt. The link is also available at the end of this post.
Day 8 – Luxor, Valley of Kings, Coptic Monastery
- Stunning sunrise. Boat ride to the west bank of the Nile. Ferries silhouetted against the sunrise.
- Our ferry is called the Nile Diva.
- 30 km bike ride planned for today. We cross over to the west side and hop on our bikes.
- Riding through backroads in Luxor, dodging mangy barking dogs, rolling behind a security car.
- Rode over to Memnon Colossi and the Valley of the Kings. Amazing details and intricate hieroglyphics.
- At the Valley of the Kings, Mohammed – a vendor – with light hazel eyes, holds my hand and tries to hypnotize me. Calls me Nubian sister. Very sinewy. About 6ft 4 tall and peers down. Reminders me of Jafar from Disney’s Aladdin.
- “A” runs through the obstacle of vendors, juking and veering left and right.
- Rode over to Hatshepsut Temple – Female pharaoh.
- Tito at Hatshepsut temple, very persistent.
- Got off road and onto dirt to ride over to the Coptic Monastery.
- Sun rays spill across reverent simple statues.
- Portraits of the Egyptian Coptic leader. The nuns
- Extremely reverent place. Tamer kisses the tips of his fingers, touches both sides of the door and the floor before proceeding in.
- A monastery way out of the way…. With a snack shop and library. Oh, so travelers come here too, I ask. No, it’s for Egyptians. Egyptian travelers that know of this place.
- Biking takes you off road.
- We rode through fields and small villages, waving. Women dressed in burkas wave back.
- Hello? Cousin! America? Obama! With a thumbs up sign.
- Young boy camel-rides with me while donkeys bray, men in green jellabiyas and white turbans harvest okra in lush fields.
- Men sit on porches with donkeys and carts parked, smoking shisha and drinking lemon tea.
- We ride all the way to the colonial style hacienda-looking Al Moudira for lunch.
- Got into a spat with “J” for calling “M” a jealous old woman.
- We head back to the boat. I start feeling a little queasy.
- We got to the Luxor temple and the heat is unbearable. So unbearable that I couldn’t breathe.
- I was dehydrated and experiencing a heat stroke.
- It was the scariest physical condition I’d ever had. I thought I was going to die. Always wear sunshades and hats.
- Rushed back to the bus and they had to rush me back to the boat.
- Met with Tamer who got me water and coffee and suggested I lie down to rest.
- I was so scared of falling asleep.
- Took medicine, had a little bit of dinner, drank like crazy, and said little prayers.
- Always listen to your intuition. I wish I’d left [last temple] about 10-15 minutes earlier or not gone at all.
- A very rough evening but I’m so grateful to you Lord for never leaving my side, for strengthening me.