Hello from Crystal Crane Hot Springs in central Oregon.
With ending a fantastic trip to Egypt, we returned home intending to self-quarantine ourselves for 3 day. On the second day of our self-quarantine, we received a call from our Terraces staff asking us (telling us) to stay quarantine for 14 days. We were told that it was ok for us to go shopping, but we were not to have contact with the staff or residents or roam the halls. We sat for two more days and got bored so we packed up our camping trailer and headed out. We will stay as isolated as possible. Crystal Hot Springs has a few places to park the trailer with hookups and has a large hot pool, almost a lake. It is far from any city and 30 miles from the small town of Burns. Next we will go the Oregon Coast to a Forest Service Campground at Tillicum that is also secluded. So far it has been a great decision.
With all this going on we have not been able to keep up with our blog. With diligence and time, and all we saw and did, we could have sent out 20 blogs. We covered most of the Gems in our first blogs with the temples, pyramids, tombs, and museums. We will end this trip with what we enjoyed almost as much as the Gems. We had dinner at a local family’s home where most of the meal was “home grown”. In Luxor we boarded a small boat on the Nile with room for only 16 and a crew of 15 and our guide. We stopped on an island with a small village of 80 and had lunch and had a “day in the life” of a local family or many families on the island in the Nile. At one small village the women were invited into a home and were decked out in the native dress. Because our boat was small, we could stop anywhere on the river for lunch or to spend the night on the clear, calm Nile, away from cities, people, and noise. One afternoon the captain stopped at a beach and Hugh and a couple of others went for a swim in the clear, pretty cold Nile. The tour director and our guide were having fun finding as many ways as possible for us to travel to and from by air, boat, train, tram, Uber Van, bus, horse and buggy, Pick-Up-Trucks, Tuk-Tuks, camels, and a mule, to name most of them.
After disembarking at Aswan, we bused south to Abu Simbel to see the Ramses Temples, and to be introduced to the Nubians, an ethno-linguistic group of people that occupied the Nile Valley before it was flooded by Lake Nasser. They are not Egyptians nor Sudanese, but a very handsome people. Back in Aswan we took a camel ride to St. Simeon Monastery that was destroyed 1173 AD. We spent our last five days in Alexandria. Most of what we saw was from the Roman times 400 BC on. The catacombs of Kom, dug deep in the sandstone more than 100 ft. deep, the new Library of Alexandria, the Women’s District where many of the stores are owned by women featuring crafts and other products for women, on a street so narrow that it was hard to pass an oncoming person. We visited a brickyard where they make up to 100,000 clay bricks a day with most of the work being done by hand. We visited a shipyard where luxury yachts were being built, and we were invited to share their lunch. That is where Hugh astonished the guide by actually eating their food. We visited many public markets which were awesome. At the tour “hot spots” you could not get away from the vendors but, the variety at the local ones was huge. Each of the places we visited had a story to tell and we wish we had the time and know how to share our feelings and experiences. It was a trip we would highly recommend. Its is the “small boat tour” of “Egypt and the Eternal Nile” by OATS. We had an extraordinary trip and wish all could have gone with us.
Sally and Hugh