......all conspired against us to keep us in Egypt for an extra 24 hours. But we didnt mind. We had an extra day of lazing around the pool, eating, drinking and just relaxing - which is just what we needed after 7 days of charging around Egypt at an unholy pace.
It is said the British love queuing. We seemed to spend the whole week queuing for one thing or another and it started at Gatwick airport. The queue to get through 'security' wound, snake like, all through the terminal. We had arrived in plenty of time thinking we could have breakfast before our flight, only to spend that time, over an hour, waiting in the queue for security. Once through we thought we could sit down for half an hour and have a cup of coffee, but no, a sign informed us we still had a 20 minute walk to our gate. What is it with Gatwick? Why is everything so far away? I longed for my intimate little Birmingham airport as we yomped down to gate 23 which seemed to be in the next county. Everything went pretty smoothly after that, flight was on time and 5 and a half hours later we were landing at Luxor - where, even at 6pm, it was hot. Very hot. Yet more queuing to obtain a visa and get through immigration, a short coach ride, and we arrived at our boat - the MS Da Vinci.
When we were in Turkey we were surprised at the number of gulets cruising around and similarly here we were surprised at the number of river boats moored up. There must have been dozens of them, all basically the same build - 3 floors of acommodation and a top deck with a pool for sunbathing. Shortage of moorings meant that these boats often had to moor along side each other meaning we would have to walk across others to reach ours. And they all look very similar. So similar in fact that on the first night one chap off our boat got slightly confused and ended up having dinner on another boat and it was only when he tried to get into his cabin later he realised his mistake !
Our cabin was on the lower deck, 'down with the bilge rats' as Martin put it, but it was very nice, quite spacious with a big window. When we opened the curtains we had a shock though as the water level came right up to the window, in fact it lapped over it, so our room was below water level !
Meals were at set times, on the same table sharing with the same people so we were slightly concerned who we would end up with. We struck lucky with a lovely group of people, similar sense of humour, and we ending up looking forward to having a gossip and a laugh with them. The food that night was disappointing to say the least. It did improve slightly during the week but on the whole it wasnt a patch on the food we have had on other cruises.
After dinner there was a meeting to explain the excursions we would be going on during the week and the fact most of them required an early start - very early in some cases. The next day was Valley of the Kings and our wake up call was at 6am so at 10pm we retired to our sub-aqua cabin to get some much needed sleep. It had been a long day.......