To begin a journey into the Sahara, one could hardly go wrong with Cairo. A sprawling Islamic city of mosques and minarets, prayer calls to Allah co-exist with trinkets made in the image of polytheistic gods of ancient Egypt. The bazaars, or souks, live up to their name here, for anything from miniature pyramids to sheesha pipes to mint tea to kisses can be bought, sold, and traded by the dozen.
Out on the streets, the dizzying swarm of pedestrians, cars, cyclists, dogs and donkeys form a maze to rival Minotaur’s. To cross a road, one would need the heart of Hercules and the feet of Hermes. From this land, great civilisations have risen and collapsed – chariots drawn and blood spilt in battles that go as far back as the pages of history will remember. It is the perfect setting to start your own quest across the mighty desert.
We arrived in Cairo in the early hours of the morning, although the sun did beat us to it and was already lighting up the city in all hues of the desert. Houses the colour of sand lined the highway into the city. On the horizon, a dusty band of dark yellow separated the city skyline from the blue of the sky – sand particles from the Sahara that crept into the city.
We, the motley tropical crew of Vannessa, Trish and I, set off for the Pyramids at once. The pyramids were not quite the way I remembered them from 5 years ago, but I suppose half a decade is a long enough time to change your perspective and for memories to derail from reality.
Being the goofballs that we are, we proceeded to pull some stunts for souvenir. Because, y’know, karate at the pyramids seemed like a good idea at the time.
Vanessa, embracing her role as victim
Trish executes a pretty convincing karate kick.