Here I am, just before being nibbled by a camel!
By Jacqui Gray
Egypt – mysterious, alluring, exotic and beautiful – she shot to number one on my travel hit list back in Mrs. Baulkham’s history class.
So, what is my most prominent memory of my trip to Egypt? The temple of Abu Simbel, sailing down the Nile on a felucca, scuba diving on the Red Sea, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, or the Great Pyramids of Giza? Nope!
These were highlights, but not what immediately springs to mind when I think of my time in Egypt. Looking back, I think of what started as a horseback ride through the desert to enjoy the sunset over the pyramids – oooh aaah stuff travel dreams are made of!
“How much riding experience do you have?” I was asked.
“Uh none, I don’t actually like horses” I answered.
Calm down horsey lovers, I think they are amazing animals. I just don’t want to be perched on such a strong-willed beast. But hey, there’s first time for everything! So, like the badass woman I am, I got on that horse.
Astride my majestic beast, my confidence grows as we plod along – I had a sneaking suspicion that I was a complete natural at this horse riding stuff.
Just as I’m finally comfortable, I’m presented with another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Would you like to pat the camel?” I’m asked. Clearly these people don’t know me.
Another animal with free will that appears to be spitting? Absolutely not.
“Sounds good to me!” I hear come out of my mouth.
Right Jacqui, just dash in and get the obligatory photo – you got this!
I run in to get my picture taken with this huge camel. All I had to do was stand still while they took the shot.
Then, the camel starts slobbering on me and goes in for a bite.
I’m outta here!
As I stumble away in horror, he snaps the picture. When I look back through my camera roll later, all I’m left with is a blurry shot of me running away from the beast.
Back on my trusty stead and he has decided to change things up for me. A few uncomfortable bounces before he really hits his stride. What are we now riding in, the Kentucky Derby? There is a fleeting moment where I actually believe I have the ability to ride a horse. But it doesn’t last long. I am now gripped with plain old fear.
I have two options. I can jump off or hang on for dear life.
I plop to the ground ever so graciously. Lying there winded, the rest of the group trot up at a leisurely pace and regale me with how surprised they were to see me take off. Turns out I’m no horse whisperer.
This is my most vivid memory of Egypt, which could easily be due to 98% fear and adrenalin coursing through my veins.
But, I have endless snapshot moments in my mind: An uninterrupted view of the pyramids, the sun setting over the desert, and a full moon rising above the sprawling city of Cairo.
- Egypt Tailor Made Tours: These guys will not only take you on a camel or quad ride around the pyramids, but can hook you up with any amazing adventure of your choice in these ancient lands.
- Cairo Dinner Cruise: If you are looking for something a little more glamorous, this is the way to go. Sip on your favorite cocktail as you sail along the Nile and watch their famous Tanoura Show.
- Sequoia: This gorgeous restaurant overlooking the Nile is filled with elegant décor and plenty of local flavor.
- The Egyptian Museum: Visit this museum in Cairo early in the day so that you can see all the beautiful artifacts before the crowds.