Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trek to Cleopatra's Bath

Beverly awoke feeling better so we decided that we would go to a few of the out of town sites today. Those sites were the oracle temple, some other temple, and Cleopatra's bath. I, personally, was really excited to go to Cleopatra's bath, which is a hot springs that is out in the palm groves outside of town. It is one of the more popular areas for tourists.

We got up early and headed out, on foot. We had no idea that today would be the hottest day in Egypt since we arrived. Anyway, the road was a lot less shade covered than we expected and we made our way through the sun for a couple of miles before reaching the oracle temple. We did not go inside, but looked around and took some pictures from the outside. It is where Alexander The Great visited the Oracle at Siwa before heading to Asia. 


After visiting this site we went to another site which was an old temple that had fallen into ruins. It was interesting to see. There were some old carvings on the rocks and a nice place to sit down in the shade. We sat for a while and then headed off to Cleopatra's bath. Cleopatra's bath, as I said before, is a very popular spot. Generally it is said to be quite busy. There is a large restaurant on site and a place to buy smoothies and other drinks. Well, when we arrived there was one man sitting (sleeping) on the other side of the road and nobody else there. Even though the restaurant was supposed to open at 9 and it was well after, the place was completely dead.

The pool itself was quite deep and looked somewhat inviting, despite some green algae floating at the top. However, it seemed too strange to change and get in with nobody else anywhere around. I was not comfortable with using the facilities to change since nobody was at the restaurant. It was rather spooky seeing this whole set up of hammocks, chairs, tables, and such with nobody else inside. It was as if something had happened that made everyone just vanish. In fact, something did happen. Tourism has long since come to a virtual standstill. This was proof of how little tourism is reaching a once very popular area of Egypt. 

Cleopatra's Bath
We made our way back without swimming, figuring that we would spend some time at Bir Wahed or in Dahab. However, it was crazy to see a lack of people at the hot springs. I had heard, however, there was a more private hot springs in the palm groves that locals used to use, and I went looking for it. Beverly was tired and was waiting at the ruins. I was gone for a few minutes and when I came back, a male had taken some interest in her. She was not sure what he was thinking, but it is said that a woman alone is sometimes not good here. So, when I came back Beverly seemed a bit nervous. We decided that we would not split up any longer and would stick together. With that said, we did not find the spring and may look for it later, if we rent bikes and head back that way.

We made our way back to town and upon arriving purchased a huge watermelon and took it to our room to eat. I borrowed a knife and two spoons from the rooftop kitchen area and we had a feast of watermelon for breakfast/lunch. The monstrosity cost 10 EGP and was very good. It was a great way to hydrate. Then we found ourselves stuck in our room as the heat grew to an unbearable level. We opened the doors to the balcony and let some of the air come in, which helped, but it was still stifling. Later that evening we went out for dinner at the same place as last night and talked to one of the workers about tours to Bir Wahed. We don't know who we will go with or if we will go. When we returned to our room there was a great amount of sand in the air and a possible sand storm in the distance. It was hard to see anything on the horizon, so we shut ourselves in and began to rest as the sun was setting. Did I mention we bought Borio cookes? They are like Oreos, only spelled differently. And they are not as pretty, but they taste very similar.

I took the chance to do some much needed laundry. Even though doing laundry is said to be cheap here, I have not seen many places to get it done. One way in which I save money while traveling is to do my own laundry. It may be kind of ghetto, but that's just how it is.

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