HN Contributor Lisa Morrison didn’t get to a ride a horse in Egypt… but she did get to ride a camel.
Horses are my biggest passion, but travel comes in a close second. It’s a great day when I can combine the two, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. I often say that I will ride anywhere, any time but when I say “ride,” I’m usually referring to horses. On a recent trip to Egypt I rode many things, except for a horse.
My friend Kim and I spent three weeks on a grand tour of Egypt. One of the conditions was that she would be willing to camp in the desert as long as we stayed (some day) in a 5* hotel in Paris. We made a pact, even shook on it, although I have yet to fulfill my end of the bargain (who can afford a 5* hotel in Paris?!).
The trip was amazing, we spent time in Cairo and Alexandria, toured the Valley of the Kings and the area around Luxor, travelled south–near Sudan–to see the tombs of Ramsey II, and crossed the Western Desert–almost to Libya–where we camped in the White Desert. It was truly a great trip.
This was small group travel–no tour buses for us. With half a dozen other Canadians, Aussies and Brits, we explored Egypt via a variety of transportation:
-On a felucca (sailboat) up the Nile
-Off-roading in jeeps across the Western Desert
-In a donkey cart through Sima
-On a donkey to the Valley of the Kings
-By bike to Cleopatra’s bath
But not once did I get to ride a horse. Just about the only horse I saw during the entire trip was at the Step Pyramids in Giza. It was there–tied to a rock with a piece of wire–in case some visiting tourist wanted to go for a ride. I felt too sorry for the poor thing to consider taking it for a spin. I’m not sure if I was happier to see if left unmolested by the hordes of people or not.
While I didn’t get to ride a horse, I did ride a camel. Under a beautiful blue sky, with the sun beating down, we lumbered slowly across the rocky brown desert to the monastery of St. Simeon. I thought it was pretty cool; you had to hang on for dear life as the camel got up and down, and its motion was completely unlike that of a horse–more of a side-to-side movement. My friend Kim did not agree; she hated it! While we both loved camping in the White Desert–definitely the highlight of the trip, the camel ride was for Kim in the category of “done that, not going to do it again.” On the other hand, I would most definitely do it again, although I think my general preference would be to ride horses.
I love to travel because I get to see new places, meet new people and have new experiences. After my experience in Egypt, I think I may have to change my motto to: “I’ll ride anything, anywhere, any time!”
Story and photos by Lisa Morrison.