Not Your Usual Commute

Going between Luxor and Hurghada was an event in itself.  Surprisingly, there are no flights between the two.  Both are fairly good sized cities with a huge tourism industry.  Luxor has several monuments surrounding it and Hurghada is a beautiful Red Sea town with several hotels hugging the crystal clear coastline.

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You just can’t get away from these guys, and no, we never ate there once.  This was on our way to the early morning caravan to Hurghada.  Dan, you may really like Luxor.

If you want to travel between the two you need to join a caravan that leaves three times a day from either city.  We left the boat at 7:30AM to join the first trip of the day before the heat became too intense.  The cars and busses in the caravan met at a staging area surrounded by police and the Egyptian army.  When the time came to leave we got back in our car for the four hour drive east through the desert.  The interesting part of this is that as the cars pulled out of the staging area they were stopped periodically so that a vehicle full of armed guards and soldiers could join.  In all there were probably 80 passenger vehicles with a truck full of machine gun carrying guards placed between every 8 to 10 cars. 

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This was the staging area in luxor.  Fortunately we would be making a stop about half way into the four hour drive.

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A Bedouin family leaving one of the rest areas.

The Egyptian government takes the tourism industry very seriously and realizes that if this industry collapses the country and millions of Egyptians will suffer, so they do everything they can to prevent violence towards tourists.  For example, as we left the airport on our arrival in Cairo we had to check in with the Tourist Police, tell them our nationality, give them the license plate number of the car and tell them our destination.  If we didn’t show up at our destination in a reasonable amount of time a search would be initiated.  This was the same procedure at most of the other big tourist sights.  We never felt like we were in danger whether we were in this caravan or shopping late at night in Cairo.  We would even say that it felt as safe as any part of Singapore.

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