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On The Road to Luxor

After one long train journey, I arrive in Luxor at 8am. I get off the train and am confronted by a group of hotel touts. With the direction of Happyland Hostel etched in my mind, I start the 15 minute walk to the hotel. The early hour and the lack of tourists disembarking from the train at Luxor mean that I am the only tourist walking the streets so early. I have my huge backpack the size of the Grand Canyon and a smaller one on my front and try and negotiate the dirty, dusty and pot holed streets of Luxor. I attract a lot of attention. It is quite bizarre.

The underdevelopment of Luxor is a bit of a shock to me. Bitumen is used only when absolutely necessary. Buildings are only half finished and in a crude man made form. There seems to be no law and order. Driving on the roads is a competition between taxis, buses and horse drawn carts all jostling for space on the road.

After checking into the hostel, I unpack my things and get some stuff cleaned. I will collect them the following day. I grab my bag and head out to explore. The constant barrage of comments and stares becomes annoying after only 10 minutes. It is going to be a long day of saying no thank you to the persistent taxi drivers, horse carriages, buses, felluca boat captains, venders and beggers who don't ever shut up. It is one pain that I don't need or want.

My hair feels like it is full of half the dirt of Luxor and I go and have a wash and dry. I ask a local lady where there is a hair dressers for women. She takes me with her to the hotel she works at which has a salon. I am convinced to have a manicure which turns out to be the worst one ever that I will need to fix ASAP. Both of these are cheap, so I don't complain about the waste of money on my nails. With nice smelling, clean and straight hair I feel ready to tackle Luxor again.

I arrange for different accomodations for the next night because the bathroom is terrible at the hostel and it is also outside my room. I just don't feel comfortable having to leave my room to take a shower in the toilet cubicle. The new place is only an extra 10 EP and seems better.

After a quick lunch, I wait for Donna my old flatmate at the Winter Palace Resort. A very faded five star hotel that will never find its past glory no matter how much they charge per room per night. After meeting up with Donna around 3pm, we look at Luxor Temple and walk along the Nile. It is really nice. We have a cocktail at the Novotel and then make our way to Ali Baba for dinner. Tonight we head off to an English Pub for a drink and to continue our gossip session.

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