Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Pig of Happiness

"May his joyful smile remind us how much there is to be happy about he
is so happy about"

This quote is from the renown philosopher Edward Monkton ( provided to us by our good friends Sue and Anthony in a chocolate bar) and is relevant as far as we are concerned with regard  to health and
transport.... We had arrived in Luxor and suitably full of our new found ability to not get lost the very next day drove off to the Valley of the Kings! I have to admit to having some misgivings about having graves on the sightseeing itinerary but acquiesced to James' new found interest in all things dug up. We were super smug at
arriving early and being able to park in the shade. The 3 tombs chosen to visit were incredible, the biggest of the three had a golden domed ceiling. Nobody is allowed to take pictures in here so here is one of
me wearing the super duper pinny Kate bought me in the car park.

There are many hustlers in these tourist places and after a while one finds ways to rebuff them. But they insistent on starting a conversation as often this results in a 'sale'. The item for sale this time was something new.  The hustler began by telling James he was a very lucky man to have such a beautiful wife. Yes yes says James I am so lucky. ' I will give you 50 chickens for your wife'. 'Are they frozen chickens or are they ready for the oven?' 'They are ready sir'. 'That is a good deal'. 'Yes sir I have big problem, I have no wife, I have
not enough money to get wife, I am not allowed to have sex sir until Ian married, it is terrible sir what am I to do?' 'Well you must take matters into your own hands!'
This man followed us back to our car still offering the chickens and telling James what a lucky man he is till we drove off.  Now I dont know whether visiting the tombs was unlucky or whether the sex addled Egyptian cursed James' good fortune because an hour later we had big car trouble (this has resulted in a new cylinder head with a functioning camshaft in it). Having car trouble actually brings us to the health reason for the quote at the beginning of this page, and how we should think of many reasons to be happy we have good health ... After a day of searching we found a good mechanic who managed to source the only cylinder head for this type of engine in the whole of Egypt during their week long Ede festival when everything stops. James spent the first of three days at the mechanic's workshop. We were both invited to dinner and it is here I met the mechanic's niece Frafa. Frafa is 11.
Being the inquisitive sort I asked why her foot was bandaged, this led to a series of events that included a visit with the child to her doctor at the local hospital and a plea to friends to advise me on a course of action that meant buying antibiotics and wound dressings. So to Fee, Peggy,  Cia, Jaks, Sarah and her brother, Kim and Giles thank you so much in helping me to help a little girl who's foot was so infected that septicemia and osteomyelitis were likely. Over a period of 4 days with your help we bought medicines and dressings, I taught her mother and grandmother how to do a 'clean' dressing and we persuaded them to take her to a better doctor out of Luxor. Over this time we got to know the family pretty well. They are wonderful kind people, they fed us and made us drink endless cups of very sweet mint tea.

Here are most of them, our friend Mr Ayad the mechanic is not in the picture was as usual fixing a car.

On the last day we visited our Luxor adopted family the Grandmother told us her feet were
sore, like James' they had gone all cracked and dried out! They needed
super glue! James glues his feet all the time so we knew about this,10 mins later grannies feet were glued up just like James'. What a lucky lady I hear you say.
While in Luxor, in between visits to the mechanic and the pharmacy we did manage a visit to the temples at Karnak, these were fantastic and James and I have both voted them our favourite.

And here is a view from our splendid hotel the Cleopatra..a highly recommended place who's staff really were incredibly helpful in getting us back on the road.

We finally left Luxor and headed to Aswan and that is where we are writing this from. The place is good, we have been to the big mosque here and walked along the corniche to the park.

Our hotel is er...choice...but after a little bit of complaining not only do we have posh clean sheets and hot water but a whole new room!

We have been to the ticket office today to see about buying our tickets for Sudan, but apparently the boat is still in Sudan possibly delayed because it might be ferrying cattle to Abu Simbel en route to Aswan. Fair enough. So tomorrow we go back to the ticket office (outside which this morning had a super dodgy geezer sniffing glue, two Sudanese gentlemen going home and a third who's phone ring tone was the the theme to the Titanic), and speak to the nice manager there, fingers crossed we will be able to travel on Monday to Sudan.
If we are lucky and get tickets then the next posting will be from Khartoum, so we wish you all well......Salam.


  1. Keep writing! Your stories and pictures are wonderful. Glad to hear that you are both safe and well. Nikki x

  2. Glad to hear that the car is sorted and that you were able to help the little girl and her family, great pictures. Keep safe. Lots of love Sarah and Dod xxx

  3. Hi you two!! Loving your adventures....and about 2 weeks away from starting mine!! Much love


  4. Love the super glue story!!
    Glad you could help the little girl Dee.
    James, don't sell her even for a 100 chickens!

    Keep safe.

    Lots of love Soo and chris xxxxxxxx

  5. I see his 50 chickens, and I raise him 50 Chickens, two fish fingers and half a sausage roll

  6. We are enjoying your blog and the super photos. I wish it was me (mum) I am glad it's not me (JM). Also we are enjoying the comments from your friends. There aren't enough chickens in the world to exchange for Dee and James was brought up on high standards re hotels! I speak regularly with kate and she is fine. Have posted the advent calendar. Look after each other and enjoy every day.Lots of love and hugs. Mum and JM xx

  7. what an adventure! love your blog , great reading. I'll stick to stena, the poo boat sounds horrendous but memorable! lots of love J &D