Monday, March 26, 2007

Egypt - Alexandria and the Nile Valley

Salaam 'alaykum,

After the safari, we took a train to Alexandria and spent a few days on the beautiful Mediterranean. We loved it there since it wasn't too touristy. However, they are more conservative there than we had thought and Kar had to get a scarf to cover her hair. After that, only the women stared since I think she tied it wrong.

Next, we met our group for the tour. We learned so much Egyptian history. The guide called Kar an amateur egyptologist (kiss up - Haig). We visited Abu Simbel, Aswan, Luxor, Cairo, and the Pyramids at Giza for those of you that like to know where we were exactly. We were amazed at how everything has lasted and loved learning all about it. We won't bore you with all the temples and history but if you're interested, Kar would love to give you a brief lecture when we get back. Tips are appreciated (as is the custom in Egypt). We also did a hot air balloon ride over the Nile River at Luxor and had dinner in a Nubian village.

We had a nice group (10 total) and all were under 35 mostly from London and Australia. There were a lot of women in our group and Haig was always walking with at least 4 of us. Many of the men, said he was a lucky man for having so many wives and he should share :) He was loving it!!!!

Now, we're on the Red Sea on the Sinai peninsula. We're staying in Sharm el-Sheikh and doing 2 dives tomorrow at Ras Mohamad Park. We hope to see many large fish! Then we'll head up to Dahab which we hope will be less touristy and less expensive.

We are doing great and can't believe one month has already passed. Kar has gotten homesick twice but Haig has done a good job cheering her up as have your updates and comments! Keep them coming. Miss you guys!

-Kar and Haig

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Safari in Kenya and Tanzania

Jumbo (hello in Swahili)!

We loved reading your comments! Keep them coming.

We just finished a 2 week safari through Kenya and Tanzania. We visited Nakuru, Masai Mara, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater (our favorite) and camped in the bush the whole time. Two of our campsites didn't have fences and we saw buffaloes and hyenas at night which was a bit scary but cool overall.

We saw tons of wildlife including elephants, rhinos, hippos, wildebeests, lions, leopards, gazelles, impalas, cheetahs, flamingos, buffalo, hyenas, zebras, giraffes and many more. We even witnessed lions mating and saw a few fresh kills by leopards and lions. We also visited a traditional Maasai village and met some locals.

Since this is the beginning of the rainy season, our truck got stuck in the mud and it took almost 2 hours to get out with the help of another truck. Needless to say, we were all nice and muddy! Good thing our campsite that night had showers :) We were very fortunate since the weather held out for us during the day and it only rained at night.

We had a great group including a Canadian couple and a Swiss couple (they were on their honeymoon) who we got along with great. Our guide also rocked!

After getting up at 5 am every morning and setting up camp every day we are a bit tired but this safari was a great experience and we highly recommend it. The wildlife, scenery, and culture were truly amazing.

The first leg of our trip is done and though we were sad to say bye to everyone, we are excited about exploring Egypt. We flew in to Cairo last night and are now headed to Alexandria.

We apologize for the lack of pictures but the connection here is slow and today we won't even be able to post any pics since the USB port is not working. We took tons of animal pics so keep checking back and we'll get it up as soon as we can.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

East Africa (Lamu)

Hello everyone!
After a 26 hour flight with very little sleep (we were addicted to the in-flight movies), we made it to Nairobi. It's a very busy city with people and cars all over the street and very few tourists. After exploring the town and grabbing a yummy dinner we crashed early since we were still suffering from jet-lag. (pic of the view from our downtown hotel rooftop)

The next morning, we flew to the island of Lamu where we spent the next few days relaxing on the beach, riding on a dhow (local sailboat), and enjoying the quiet fishing village where the only form of transportation were donkeys! We had a lovely fish bar-b-q yesterday on the beach. The food in Kenya is delicious and they even have a bunch of vegetarian options for Kar.

Tomorrow we leave on our safari so we will not be able to post any blogs for a while. Hope all is well and we'll update you as soon as we can. Miss you all :)