We wake early and have breakfast while the sun rises. We take some photos and say our heartfelt goodbyes. The crew had been so cool, fun, friendly and generous with their humour and hospitality. It felt like they really enjoyed the trip as well. Even though it’s hard to perceive that as they do this all the time. They made it feel like it was their first time.
We jumped in a minivan and heading for Kom Ombo. There we checked out the Temple of Sobek and Haroeris. A duel dedication to the crocodile and falcon gods. It was a little underwhelming after all the other ruins we had seen.
Next stop was Edfu and the Temple of Horus. The temple is the most preserved of the Ptolemaic period in Egypt and it is spectacular and awesome. It is massive and being so intact it invites people to transcend time and image they are there 3000 years ago. It is full of amazing and detailed carvings and hieroglyphs. It is one of my favourite temples and I really enjoy exploring it and imagining what it would have been like all newly painted, vibrant and full of gold.
We head for Luxor but take a detour due to a major crash where a truck had gone off the road and onto its side. The back road is bumpy, dusty and slow but it goes through a little village and we see more of rural life.
We stop for tea at a roadside café and stretch our legs. Out of nowhere, an American couple who are in the minivan with us just start going nuts at the driver for taking too long and making them two hours late. They are real twats and everybody else can’t help but think how unreasonable and disrespectful they are being. They just perpetuate the negative stereotype of Americans and sour the mood on the bus. However, most just laugh at their uptight demeanour. I feel sorry for people like this who get upset over little things, ruin their own time then make other people feel bad and uncomfortable.
We arrive at Luxor and get dropped at our hotel. We hang out and chat with our Christian contact about the tour for the next couple of days. We also speak a little about politics and religion. He says it is hard being a Christian in Egypt and they have many problems in society. He says he does not like Muslims and Arabs and thinks they have closed minds. He also expresses his dissatisfaction with the current government and president.
We check in and then head over to a hostel we have heard about with free wi-fi. We get some dinner and then start talking. Adam and I have a very interesting conversation/debate about religion and human nature.
The debate about religion is a little too sensitive and contentious to be discussed here but I am happy to discuss further if anyone is interested.
Unable to reconcile our views about organised religion we seamlessly moved onto human nature. Here Adam and I were split along the nature verses nurture lines.
Adam believed, inline with much popular belief I have come across, that it was biologically human nature to want to survive as an individual and that in the end self interest and your own life are the most important things in determining ones actions.
I on the other hand, believed that our notion of human nature as being naturally based on individual survival and self-interest was much more a result of nurture or social constructs that have been developed and reinforced over time. I believe the West could just have easily have been convinced that community survival and community interest was the most important thing in determining ones actions.
It is the way we have been nurtured over time, the path dependency of conventional thought, that has given the West the idea that human nature is based on individual consciousness rather than social consciousness.
I tried to convince Adam that we needed a social, economic and political system that would promote and capture social consciousness because this would paradoxically lead to greater overall individual freedom. More people would be able to have more choices in a society that tends to equality and this would give greater scope for human progress in whatever direction society chooses.
After our conversation, I check my emails and see that many people have liked my first batch of photos. I am glad they did.
On our way back to our hotel we start talking to a local who invites us for a tea. He is funny and wants to practice his English. I soon find out there is another comical motive. We talk for a while before he asks me to write a text message in English to a girl he likes in London. For the next 5 minutes the three of us laugh as we construct this shameful love SMS. It went something like this
‘Hey darling, I hope you are feeling better. I love you, I miss you, I can’t wait to kiss your lips and caress your breasts. I will wait for you in June. Our hearts are one xxx.’
It was classic! We wondered back to the hotel and I passed out again in less than a minute fully clothed. This seems to be a recurring them. We pack so much into everyday we are always exhausted at night.