Travel by Way of ...
By Stephanie Elaine Cavanaugh - http://stephaniecavanaugh.com
All images copyright Stephanie Elaine Cavanaugh. All rights reserved.
If I had my way, I would travel everywhere via walking, subway-train, or ... by camel!
Travel by camel is actually, in my opinion, quite an entertaining adventure. First, the mood of your camel is very important! Camels can be moody creatures. I was fortunate in my camel riding experiences to always be atop a pleasant feeling camel. However, I saw many very angry and spitting ones! I find camels ... fun. They are so tall and you feel so high up when riding one. The way they stand is interesting. All I can say is hold on tight! They stand rear first ... so basically, for me anyway, because I did not know this and had not been told, I thought I was about to fall face first into the sand of the Sahara! But so long as you hold on for dear life, then they stand up in the front too! I just loved traveling by camel.
One of my fondest memories was riding at night through Giza, into the Sahara Desert. First, let me say ... negotiating price is an experience! I learned that prices vary so widely ... in one place you can negotiate down to their "best" price and then at another place, their starting price before negotiating is the previous person's "best" price. We went a back way through a very poor area. It was very sad to see people living in such terrible conditions. Many living in the camel stalls and in the graveyards. We went quite a distance through these areas and then reached the edge of the city and headed into the open desert. I was there during the end of Ramadan and for Eid. This particular night, everyone was out for Eid celebrations. Young boys were riding into the desert as well on horses, shooting loud firecracker type things and laughing and hollering with friends. Everyone was having so much fun. It was a wonderful experience.
We went out a ways into the desert. I dismounted the camel and took the blanket and walked out farther into the desert ... put the blanket down on the sand ... and laid there. It was so peaceful. Laying in the Sahara Desert at night, the sound of kids in the distance on their horses celebrating. The smell of the firecrackers and the sand and the remnants of the day's heat. There were not really that many visible stars because the city lights were still too bright in the distance. But ... those lights along with the smog blanketing the night sky made this beautiful glow in the background behind the dark shadows of the Great Pyramids. It was nothing short of breathtaking. I sat there ... I don't even know for how long, just staring at the pyramids and contemplating life, in all its complexity and simplicity. I felt very small. And yet a part of something very big. And I felt very ... peaceful. I paused to fully take in the moment, to commit all the details to memory. Still today when I am stressed, I imagine I am back there in the Sahara at night during Eid ... and my stress melts away in that moment. This was my favorite memory of Egypt.
The other interesting thing about traveling in Egypt was the Boat Taxi on the Nile River (that was fun) and the subway-train. The subway-train was a new experience for me for two reasons. One, it was my first time on a subway-train ever. Two, the subway-train in Egypt is segregated and women are only permitted to ride in the back area that is designated specifically for women only. The women were so incredibly sweet. We traveled a lot on the subway-train. When it was really crowded and full, the women with seats would often stand and offer their seat. Or look and smile in the friendliest way. And they were very concerned for our safety and wanted to be sure we were okay. They had big hearts ...
I really loved Egypt. I think I left a piece of my heart there ...
About the Author:
Stephanie Elaine Cavanaugh
Hi, I'm Stephanie ... pleasure to become virtually acquainted. Thanks for reading my blog and giving me reason to write. Please note the views and opinions communicated here are my own and I do not represent any particular group or organization.
Interests, ever-evolving: Photography, painting, art, science, medicine, astronomy, yoga, travel, the world, culture, language, education, women's rights, human rights, making the world a kinder and more beautiful place.