March 2020
  • Day17

    Sydney - Coffs

    March 21, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Left early from Hotel to the Qantas transfer lounge and took the bus to domestic terminal to Coffs Harbour. Surprise to find Mark waiting for us. What a good friend he is! Back home to start 14 days self-isolation.Read more

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  • Day16

    Cairo - Sydney

    March 20, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Finally, we were out of Egypt by the skin of our teeth. The plane was fully loaded. Stop over at Dubai and got on another full flight back to Sydney. Crossed day line and we lost 1 day. When we arrived, we were surprised to find the relaxed attitude of the Australian immigration when we arrived. There were no body checking temperature We were told if anyone who was not feeling well to report to the airline staffs. After picking up the duty-free and filling out declaration for 14 days home isolation, we departed. Went across the road and book into Rydges motel for the night. Didn't have dinner that night.

    T 14° to 32°
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  • Day15

    Cairo

    March 19, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    We had intended to stay in Luxor for 2 nights and then flying out of Cairo on the morning of 19th. In the middle of that night, we found out that the connecting leg of Cairo to Abu Dhabi was cancelled. That means the rest of the trip is not useable. We had to go to Cairo ASAP to have any chance to get out. Catherine managed to get us 3 tickets for Nile Airway from Luxor that morning. Total panic. Trying desperately to get back to TAD for those cancelled tickets. After hours of frantic phone message between Catherine and Silvana. I was told that we managed to secure TAD for the outgoing tickets. They also had moved the leaving time from 12.30pm to 11.45 am. What a miracle and a big relieve that was. Now all we have to do is to cancel the other air tickets because we had 2 lots of tickets home. Went to breakfast this morning at the hotel thinking we were all safe, we were called to the reception that we had an oversea phone call. It was Catherine from Brisbane.
    In totally confusion, Roland hasn't pay for his return ticket home $1900.00 and I had only a few minutes to pay on line or I would have lost the ticket home. Holy shit! Total panic again. The brain was not working and the fingers were not co-operating trying to get payment through the internet. In my state of confusion that morning, I didn’t understand I had to do internet banking for my ticket. Sil and Jan had already paid. Went back to room, quickly packed up and cancelled the second days accommodation.

    T 13° to 21°
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  • Day14

    Luxor - Cairo

    March 18, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We had intended to stay in Luxor for 2 nights and then flying out of Cairo on the morning of 19th. In the middle of that night, we found out that the connecting leg of Cairo to Abu Dhabi was cancelled. That means the rest of the trip is not useable. We had to go to Cairo ASAP to have any chance to get out. Catherine managed to get us 3 tickets for Nile Airway from Luxor that morning. Total panic. Trying desperately to get back to TAD for those cancelled tickets. After hours of frantic phone message between Catherine and Silvana. I was told that we managed to secure TAD for the outgoing tickets. They also had moved the leaving time from 12.30pm to 11.45 am. What a miracle and a big relieve that was. Now all we have to do is to cancel the other air tickets because we had 2 lots of tickets home. Went to breakfast this morning at the hotel thinking we were all safe, we were called to the reception that we had an oversea phone call. It was Catherine from Brisbane.
    In totally confusion, Roland hasn't pay for his return ticket home $1900.00 and I had only a few minutes to pay on line or I would have lost the ticket home. Holy shit! Total panic again. The brain was not working and the fingers were not co-operating trying to get payment through the internet. In my state of confusion that morning, I didn’t understand I had to do internet banking for my ticket. Sil and Jan had already paid. Went back to room, quickly packed up and cancelled the second days accommodation.

    Left the hotel to airport early morning, flew Nile Airway from Luxor to Cairo. The girls walked all along the whole Cairo airport but failed to cancel the other air ticket. Stayed at Le Passage hotel at the airport.
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  • Day13

    Luxor, Egypt

    March 17, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ☁️ 29 °C

    Instead of sailing down the Nile today, we went on the bus to explore the Valley of the Kings, known as the "Gateway to the Afterlife"; which provides a window to the past. Many of the tombs within the valley were once filled with an abundance of antiquities. Though many suffered at the hands of grave robbers, others thankfully remained unscathed. Next is a visit to Deir el- Bahari, the mortuary temple of ‘Pharaoh Queen’ Hatshepsut. Rising out of the desert sands in a series of terraces, it’s an incredible sight to behold. On the way back to the river Nile, the road passes by the famed Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep
    III. However, on the bus we found out that Sharon and Ron had organized flights to fly out from Cairo tomorrow morning. We also found out that the Cairo airport is definitely closing after midday on Thursday. With the help from Cath and with little internet along the way, Sil managed to book new tickets to get out. (Nile Airway from Luxor to Cairo the next morning $455.00/ and Cairo - Abu Dhabi- Sydney for $2500.00 on Thursday b4 midday) We left the group on the boat and booked into the Karnak's Mercure Hotel near bý, this way we could get to the airport quickly in the morning. We thought that was the best chance to get to Cairo and back to Aust.

    About

    The Valley of the Kings is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. This is a royal burial ground, with exquisitely decorated tombs for the pharaohs who ruled Egypt between 1539 and 1075 BC. There are over 60 tombs in this small area, although only a handful are open to public.
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  • Day12

    Giza - Luxor - Nile Cruise

    March 16, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We went to Cairo Airport for our internal flight to Luxor. Upon arrival, we explored the fascinating Karnak Temple, dedicated to the Pharaoh Amun, and once linked to the Luxor Temple by the three-kilometer-long Avenue of Sphinxes. In the afternoon we went to the Luxor cruise port to embark a four-night Nile River cruise. We found out that we had no internet available, nowhere to get sim cards. Uncertainty of our outcome with limited info. Very frustrating. We were asked to paid for new airfare to get out of Cairo on 22 March by midday. We have to pay
    $1900.00/person extra. That afternoon we did some shopping along the Nile.

    About

    Luxor is a city on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt. It's on the site of ancient Thebes, the pharaohs’ capital at the height of their power, during the 16th–11th centuries B.C. Today's city surrounds 2 huge, surviving ancient monuments: graceful Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple, a mile north. The royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are on the river’s west bank
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  • Day11

    Cairo

    March 15, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Our Egyptian odyssey begins at the amazing Great Pyramids of Giza and the nearby Sphinx. At 500 feet high and 750 feet wide at its base, the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is breathtaking man-made structure, built from enormous stone blocks with a white limestone covering. Together with the smaller pyramids, the sight of these huge structures is unforgettable. Had lunch at nearby restaurant overlooking the Pyramids. Afterwards, visit the ancient capital of Memphis and the famous Step Pyramid of Sakkara. Just found out that Jordan has closed its borders and that part of the journey has cancelled. Our TAD will continue the Egypt portion of the trip and all Australian will be asked to return to Oz. Not happy! At this point we were given conflicting information regarding continuation for foreigners to complete the tour before they get home and closure of Cairo airport next Thursday from midday. We were advised by The Tour guy that we should continue on our tour but we fly out of Cairo to Luxor the next morning.

    Letter from TAD

    TripADeal has been following the developments of your tour very closely and we thank you for your patience while we make arrangements to resolve this unprecedented situation. According to the latest updates on Smartraveller and the Jordan Tourism Board, as Australian citizens, you are still allowed to enter the country of Jordan by air. However, based on the experience of a previous tour group being denied boarding to their flight to Jordan, we have reluctantly decided to organise a flight home for you at the end of the Egypt portion of your tour. We view this is the best approach as we don’t want anyone stuck in a foreign country and unable to get home. This scenario has played out on many other tours around the world, with some groups finding it extremely difficult to organise return travel to Australia. You can choose to proceed but there is a very strong chance you may not be able to get home in a timely manner.
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  • Day10

    Cappadocia - Istanbul - Cairo

    March 14, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

    Woke at 2am, checked internet till bus pick up for Hot Air Ballooning at 4.30am. 28 people in one big basket. Rose to 2,000 ft. Absolutely stunning scenery. About 100 balloons went up this morning. (Normally 150) A perfect landing. Then after breakfast we departed for Kayseri Airport for a domestic flight to Istanbul and took an international flight to Cairo.

    ABOUT

    Cairo, Egypt’s sprawling capital, is set on the Nile River. At its heart is Tahrir Square and the vast Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities including royal mummies and gilded King Tutankhamun artifacts. Nearby, Giza is the site of the iconic pyramids and Great Sphinx, dating to the 26th century BC. In Gezira Island’s leafy Zamalek district, 187m Cairo Tower affords panoramic city views.
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  • Day9

    Cappadocia

    March 13, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    Hot Air Ballooning was not possible today due to high wind condition. Maybe tomorrow. Today we drove to Ozkonak Underground City, one of the area’s best-preserved underground cities, and then visit Uchisar Castle, the highest point of Cappadocia. Next, we visited Goreme Open Air Museum, famous for its 16th century frescoes, which depict the life of Jesus Christ and monks. After lunch, visit a pottery work shop and see how pottery is made. Then, visit Pasabagi where you can see three headed fairy chimneys. Afterwards visit another workshop to see handwoven carpets and kilims alley, where you can see natural rock formations. Then you will have some time for shopping at a Handicrafts Centre. The last stop is the Three Beauties, three beautiful fairy chimneys with their hats, which is the symbol of Cappadocia. After the tour transfer back to hotel.Read more

  • Day8

    Cappadocia

    March 12, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    After an early breakfast, we departed to Konya at 7:00am. After 2.5 hours enjoyed a break for coffee and some rest before getting back on the road, many stops along the way. Arrived Konya for lunch at 2:00pm. Tasted a wonderful dessert called "Saa Aradi". After lunch, we went to the imposing green - tiled Mausoleum of Mevlana, or Rumi the mystic founder of the Sufi sect (Whirling Dervishes). Arrived Cappadocia around 6:30pm. For our first time, we stayed in a Cave hotel.

    CCR Cave Hotel Cappadocia

    ABOUT

    Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey, is known for its distinctive “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Göreme and elsewhere. Other notables sites include Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and later used as refuges by early Christians. The 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses numerous rock-face churches.
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