The Nile River

Arriving In Egypt
- 16 & 17 May 2013 -

Leaving Mauritius was tough, it is such a beautiful place and hard to leave without feeling sad, but all good things come to an end, and hopefully new good things start. We flew to Egypt via Dubai, where we had to wait around for 4 hours, but anyone who has been to the Dubai International Airport will tell you that this is not such a bad thing.... it's a big airport, with lots of shops. I sat most of the time in the business class smoking lounge (which is massive), but it wasn't long until we were back in the Boeing 777 again on route to Cairo.

The Boeing 777 is a relatively new plane and therefore in the business class section, very comfortable. I peeked out of the plane window and saw an amazing sight, a "bright blue" Red Sea (I should Google to find out why it is called the Red Sea, I am sure this is not due to it's colour)... after watching sand dunes after sand dunes and then some mountains, The Red Sea was a treat to my eyes. I had to get a picture or 2, but there wasn't enough time to get my DSLR out so I just used my iPhone. In a true sense, this isn't actually the "whole" Red Sea, but actually a channel that leads off it, but it was good enough.

Totally stunning, but it wasn't long thereafter that we started our descent towards the Cairo International Airport. Seeing that I had my iPhone in hand I decided to get some pictures of the city too. It is big!!

While in Mauritius I picked up some dust on my camera sensor and anyone that does photography will understand that it is a real pain. I tried blowing out the dust, but due to the humidity, it wasn't working.... So I searched the internet and found a Nikon Service Center in Cairo. I tried calling them from Mauritius, but the language barrier was a problem so I sent them an email asking if they clean sensors.... they confirmed they do. 

We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and in Egypt, Friday and Saturday is the official week-end, so if i wanted to capture a bit of the scenery I would need to get this sorted ASAP, so my plan was to get to the Hotel, and head immediately out to the center. 

I spent approximately 2 hours at the service center and in the end landed up with a partially clean sensor, but better than it was, but now I had 2 scratches on sensor too, and unlike dust, this can't be cleaned.... and getting this fixed costs close to a new camera. I couldn't believe my luck that an authorized Nikon Service Center would be so clumsy, but obviously they wouldn't admit that they had scratched it, so I paid EGP200 for a half clean and scratched sensor. I decided to live with it.... if I use the camera in certain settings I don't see the dust or the scratches, and those that do come through, I'll edit out.

On the way back from the service center we stopped on the Nile River Bridge and I whipped out my damaged camera to get some pictures.

It was spectacular.... Zima and our driver Hassan was eager to get some snacks on the bridge.

I can't remember what you call the snack but it's quite tasteless until you add some chilli sauce, then they taste like chilli sauce.... while they were eating, I took some more photos.

The bridge is quite busy with cars, donkeys and people and as a result there is a fair amount of rubbish littered all over it, and obviously some of this lands up in the river.... but if you look past this, it is still beautiful.

Hassan took us to a place further down the road where we could get a view of the Pyramids on the horizon, we didn't want to drive all the way out there as we were planning to visit them the next day when Zima's husband.... Adu, arrived.

Zima got some photos too, but thereafter we headed off to get some Egyptian food and then back to the hotel.

The next day we woke up early and headed out to get Adu at the airport. This was a little bit of a screw up, as Adu had taken the Hotel shuttle who was waiting to collect him while we were on route to the Airport, but after a couple of calls between the drivers of shuttle and our taxi we eventually met up half way, and headed off for our day in Cairo.

On our way we stopped over on the same bridge over the Nile. It being early morning the light was kinder and I got some more photos.

In the middle of the Nile is an island, with a striving farming community.... I guess this is because of all the water.

At this point all parties were present, Adu had changed his clothes in the taxi and I had my "fix" of photos of the Nile River.... we were ready for the day!

To be continued....

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