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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Thursday 15th March

Earlier on in the holiday I had checked out some of the stables near our hotel, the horses looked in good condition, healthy coats, no marks on their coat so had arranged to go horse riding thru some of the local villages and out into the desert.

I can horse-ride, I have done it before though I am not a confident rider.

I made sure to ask the owner for:-

  • A strong horse for me
  • A slow horse for mum

    And so after breakfast we headed outside of the hotel where there were two horses waiting for us, mine (the bigger one) was called 'Casper' and he was lovely and mum's was 'Jameela' our guide, Mahmoud had a donkey.

    We started off heading along the ramla, turning at Al Salam camp, hopefully someone can help me here, when we were going up the path with the banana plantations at one side a beastie ran over the path in front of us, it was too big to be a rat and the face was all wrong, it looked more like a 'mongoose' type creature - any idea if you get them in Egypt?

    We followed the canal along for a bit and our guide pointed out a large lazing on the banks of the canal (is it a Monitor Lizard or Warren?) - I only had my camera phone with me and no way would I have managed to capture it as it was pretty camouflaged in the grasses but here is a google picture of what one looks a bit like 

    We did go back with our cameras to look for it again later in the holiday but never saw it :-(

    When I was younger I can remember spending time at my grandparents who lived in a village around 8 miles from us.  There wasn't a great choice of shops in the village but they had a 'bakers van' and a 'fish van' that used to come round the village on set days. (We still get the fishmongers van coming round on set days but not the bakers van any more)

    In the West Bank villages you will see similar but on a donkey and cart, Mahmoud, our guide from the stables told us they go round the villages to make it easy for those who can't get out and about so easily.  There was the 'fruit and veg' man ; another selling 'household items' all going round the various villages on the donkey and cart shouting to announce their arrival.

    We stop off at a cafe near Medinet Habu Temple and have a cola and most importantly give the horses a wee break before moving out into the desert.


    Jameela (left) and Casper (right)

    Mud brick walls that surround Habu

    We then ride out into the desert near Malqata, leave the horses for another break and walk up some of the wadi's - one of them, no clear path and I'm clambering over rocks and boulders, it isn't steep just a little difficult with no clear path - it's ever so beautiful though, you get more of a feeling of solitude here than in the Western Valley.

    As you can see - no clear path......

    Mum was waiting at the bottom of the wadi speaking to the horses, she quite fancied a wee walk in the hills so we ventured up another wadi, there was a small stone 'praying' circle where our guide said some 'European' ladies went to pray and he told us the area was very 'special'

    Mum enjoyed her first wee Theban Trek, who knows maybe next time I will get her onto the ridge (she would love it!!!)

    We took a different route back home, by the end my backside was rather sore and I felt like I was walking like 'John Wayne' for the remainder of the day!!!!

    The photos of the horse riding were all taken with my camera-phone, I didn't feel comfy taking my expensive camera on a horse.  

    I would recommend anyone thinking of doing horse riding in Luxor to

    (a) check out the stables first, check the condition of the horses (very important) and see if you like the horses and they like you
    (b) and probably the most importantly - ensure your travel insurance covers you

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