The West Bank
We have been given so many tour options to see the temples that lie across the Nile in the West Bank, by Taxi, by Donkey, Bicycle we choose to rent a motorcycle and see it on our own, this was a decision well made and for 50 L.E. we are off at 7 a.m. to explore the West Bank. Luxor's temples are the best in Egypt, but if you want the best you have to pay for it. After purchasing our tickets we eat breakfast at a Nubian restaurant. A taxi driver sees us on the bike (the only tourists on a bike that day) and pleads with us "Why!? Why you do dat ?!" we are setting a bad example as far as his business is concerned.
We made a left and we are off to the valley of the queens to see the Temple of Nefertari, the most expensive attraction in all of Egypt (100L.E.) . There is good reason for this, the temple is in great condition with Hieroglyphics in their original colors on the walls and stars on the roof, the queen herself rests in a museum in Germany. You are allowed to remain in the temple for only 15 minutes and photographs are not permitted, bakeesh changes everything. Afterwards we head to Temple of Queen Hatshepsut which is carved out of the mountainside and is is overwhelmingly huge. Can't say these guys didn't know about womens lib. Ladies first, now we are of to the valley of the Kings where King Tut, Akenhaton, Amenophis and some of the other great Pharaos resurrected their temples. When we first arrive at the valley we stand on a mountain overlooking the valley to take it all in and of course capture the moment in photographs.
We enter several of the tombs some descend into the earth over 100m keeping you wondering, "How did they do that?" We visit the tombs of Amenophsis, our final stop in the West Bank was the Temple of Seti, which was under Major reconstruction, the people here were quite friendly. The attractions of the west bank are directly across the river Nile from the city of Luxor, however by road one must travel several kilos south to cross a bridge and then return by heading North.
Shortcut Egyptian Style
Returning from the West Bank to Luxor we decide to shave ½ an hour of our time, by taking our motorbike across the river on a Felucca. Crossing the Nile on a small boat with a motorcycle on the Stern. This is just one of those moments that you could never experience anywhere else. "You from Jamaica? My boat name Jamaica " one of the young Felucca jockeys tells me with pride, and his boat, painted Red, Gold and Green and flying a Jamaican flag with Bob Marley's image emblazoned on it is in fact named Jamaica. We return the motorcycle to the Hotel, pickup our backpacks and we are of to the bus station. Next-stop Hurgada, 5 hours.
We drive thru the desert on an air-conditioned bus watching a movie in Arabic, we can't understand much, but the themes are familiar, love, betrayal and violent revenge. We pull into Hurgada and this place is built. I had envisioned a seaside village with palm trees, small hotels and bungalows boy was I wrong! Hurgada stretches along the Red Sea with huge hotels, bazaars, malls and the such; construction and dive shops are everywhere.
We check into the Sea Reef Hotel, shower and hit the town in search of food. At a pizza shop we are befriended by two locals who join us for dinner, everyone in town is a dive instructor. Later the disco Calabush where Egyptian men hunt for European women, or are the hunters really the hunted? Return to the hotel, hit the roof and smoke shisha under the stars.