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A brief report from your Egyptian correspondent

We just spent a week on the SS Karim, a small paddlewheel steamer, cruising the Nile. The boat holds 28 passengers - we had 26 since one pair of people cancelled their trip. The food was great, the accommodations excellent - best reading lights from the other hotels we visited, and the company good.

The Nile is just a lovely river, lots of great scenes of people farming, washing their clothes, and other such activities as we went by. There were few other tourists out because many people cancelled their trips. This was probably the best time to go. As a result the tombs and temples were virtually empty. Many pictures were taken and soon I'll start working on them. There is some really incredible stuff to be seen - a lot of it - some damaged of course but much in pretty good shape.

Tomorrow we return to Cairo and will go to the Egyptian Museum at Tahrir Square - the main site of the protests. And then the Giza pyramid and The Sphynx. We saw many smaller sphynx at some of these temples where there were huge lines of them.

And then it will be returning home.
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I can't wait to see the photos!!

great report, John. Glad you're having a good trip. Have you noticed that the Egyptians pronounce it "esphincus"? Also, do you have Essam as a tour guide? Enjoy the rest of it!

Essam is our tour guide. He is great. He is incredibly happy that Mobarak is gone and has been against him for a long time. The constitutional amendments passed by 67%. He really wanted much more since he says these still give too much potential power to the president. It'll be interesting to see how the election in the fall turns out.

Gotta Shake-a-leg as Essam would say.

So glad you've gotten to meet Essam - he's quite amazing. I feel a little sorry for him with our group, though. He started describing the mummy preservation techniques, the part involving scooping out the stuff inside the head with a spoon up the nose. Peter Barnes was out of his sight, but within mine, acting it all out by sticking his finger up his nose quite dramatically. I'm sure Essam thought I was being disrespectful.

And yes, Essam hated Mubarak back then, but can probably be more open about it now. Go shake-a-leg!

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