In January 2016 at last-minute notice, I booked a trip with Intrepid Travel tour to Egypt and Jordan via Dubai. For me, travel is about gaps that crop up in my calendar rather than setting aside a set time say in six months on specific dates. I work in outdoor education so there are peaks and troughs that often mean I travel in high season. However, I’ve been fortunate to travel with Intrepid on some trips out of peak season and they’ve been fabulous.
I’m not into shoes, handbags, makeup but I do love luggage so on this trip I gave the One Planet satchel a road test as well as taking my One Planet backpack.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I don’t like to have lots of bags that I need to keep my eye on so I take one backpack and one tote and that’s it. No camera bag, no purse, not even duty free bags. That way I have two things to keep my eye on. So far this has proved successful.
I was well prepared with plugs and adaptors and had no issues the entire time I travelled through Egypt. I took with me a Worldwide adaptor and that solved all my issues that I’ve experienced in the past. Not once did it let me down and found it the best universal adaptor I’ve used.
The power sockets in Egypt are the two prong style known as Worldwide C.
I had an open mind about what Egyptian food might be like so deliberately didn’t do any research. Instead I chose to embrace whatever came my way. Ahh the delights of travelling as a foodie. Egyptian food blends the elements of French, Syrian, Turkish, Lebanese and Greek cuisines. Taking a little bit of this and a little bit of that each dish from town to town can vary depending on the influences. A good example was the Mediterranean tastes in Alexandria and later on my trip experienced the Nubian cuisine of the south.
Most of the food I experienced was street food from stalls or from small cafes and restaurants. Whole food. Fresh. Simple. Tasty. I did visit one classy restaurant which had a larger range of dishes on the menu but my heart is ‘with the locals’. Note: classy restaurants will jab you for up to 15% services and tax + tips onto that of around 10% and you’re meal suddenly is more expensive than you thought. (more…)
I thought Egypt was a place I’d be using squat toilets but I was wrong. They are certainly many squat toilets but often I would find a ‘western toilet’ for us ‘westerners’ in the larger cities and tourist areas. However, the more remote you travel, the less likely you are to find them.
At large attractions such as The Pyramids, The Sphinx, Cairo Museum you will find the toilets are excellent. Usually finished with marble or stone, they are kept immaculately clean. There is usually a cost such as one to five Egyptian pounds which you pay as you enter and you’ll be given around 5 – 10 squares of toilet paper by the attendant. (more…)
As a regular traveller, I’m often asked about managing money while overseas including ATM’s, traveller’s cheques and so on. So here is a brief summary of money in Egypt.
LOCAL CURRENCY – EGYPTIAN POUND
The Egyptian Pound is an easy currency to understand with a few coins to take into consideration. In 2006 the 50 piastre and 1 pound coins dated were introduced. The notes currently in use are £5, £10, £20, £50, £100 and £200.
All notes are in Arabic and English but are easily confused by visitors. If travelling to Egypt from UK, USA, Europe and Australia. you should bring with you your own local currency if as you get a good exchange rate. Don’t bring your own local coins as they won’t be accepted. Best to exchange at money exchangers and banks. Hotel receptions aren’t great. (more…)
My trip to the Middle East in January meant the weather would be predictable and therefore, easy to pack. I left Australia with my usual One Planet backpack and 12 kgs of gear which is a little more than I would normally take but knowing the weather was going to be cold I took some warmer than usual clothes.
And I still overpacked! Mostly because I got lazy and ended up wearing the same thing every day. Unlike my trip to Burma where the only think I didn’t wear was my raincoat, this trip the list was longer:
- Raincoat (didn’t rain)
- Down Vest
- Fleece pullover
- Towel (always one at accommodation)
- Sleeping Bag (was told I would need at Wadi Rum but blankets supplied were very warm despite -2 degrees)
- Insect Repellent
- Sunhat (never sunny enough)
- Soap (always some at accommodation)
Name of country:
Muslim (90%) Christian (10%)