I hope you are all well.
Today I am in Aswan, Egypt. Here is the update:
Thursday Luke, Cara, Ryan and I went on a "Desert Safari" in the desert near Dubai. It was awesome. A local man drove us in a land rover from their house to the desert where we did some great off-roading on the way to the desert camp. We saw camels and experienced many local traditions in one shot, which was great. I'll post pictures when I can.
On Friday Luke and Cara took Ryan and me to the airpot early, and we flew to Kuwait and then to Egypt. When we got to Cairo, we decided to hop on a train for Aswan (way south) and then work our way north, ultimately seeing the pyramids in Cairo on Thursday. We tried to get on a sleeper train, but there were no spots available, so we got "first class" seats and decided to travel all night anyway.
It ended up being a six-person room -- not exactly the most cumfortable place -- but was an OK trip for being 15.5 hours long -- at least for me -- since I slept (uncomfortably) about 14 of those hours (I didn't really sleep the night before we left Dubai). I don't think Ryan slept much so I felt bad about that.
Yesterday we arrived in Aswan in the afternoon. After unsuccessfully trying several hotels we finally found one with a few rooms available, and I was SOOO thankful to get a shower! Then we made our way to McDonalds, which was supposed to be the best place for wifi in the city. Sadly, it wasn't working, but we did at least get some food. McDonalds ice cream and various types of bread have been the majority of my diet these last few days. We hired a falucca (sailboat) and went out onto the Nile around sunset, which was nice. Well, it was nice until our captain changed the price at the end of our ride. I'll post the pictures... it really is beautiful here.
We walked through a bizaar in the early evening and then tried to find a resturant, and were amazed that everything was closed at 9pm -- even though there were TONS of people out! The only resturant we could find open was... McDonalds:-). Apparently it is the place to be... it was packed with local people!
This morning has been good so far. Our hotel served breakfast, which was OK, and then we came across the street to an internet cafe. We plan to see the rest of the sights in Aswan today before heading north to Luxor tomorrow.
I appreciate your prayers. I have been feeling pretty homesick the last few days, and am realizing that I enjoy traveling to see people rather than sights quite a bit more. I want to enjoy this trip and need to have a better attitude to do that. Thanks for reading my blog and for your friendship. And have a wonderful Valentine's Day!