The Middle East - April/July 2000 - "Backpacker Style"
Nicole left London with her friend Natasha Smith (no relation!) in time to
reach Gallipoli for the memorable ANZAC day 2000 service attended by the Prime
Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, plus 15000 other tourists!
They had several weeks in Turkey before travelling on through Syria, Lebanon,
Jordan, Israel and Egypt, then flying from Cairo back to London (and WORK!) on
July 29 2000.
Turkey - April 2000
Nicole and the owner of their pension - Bozcaada Island, Turkey.
Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia, Turkey - freaky formations formed by eroded
Jordan - May 2000
Nicole in Wadi Rum desert, Jordan
Egypt - July 2000
Natasha and Nicole appreciate the change from the desert to the beautiful clear waters of Marsa
Matruh on the north
coast of Egypt.
Back to the desert - Nicole climbing the WHITE sand dunes in the Western
Oasis, Egypt. (Somewhat different from the RED
dunes of the Simpson desert in Aussie!!)
Natasha and Nicole learning the finer points of camel riding.
Photo shows Natasha and Nicole enjoying a camel ride near the Pyramids.
Photo of Nicole at Karnak in Egypt.
Whoops, NO, it just LOOKS like Nicole -
After 4 months travelling together they are starting to look
Thank heaven for email! Here is a sample of the great emails we have all been
receiving at home ..
"July 17 2000
It feels like it has been so long since I have written
a message to you all and I dont quite know where to
start. I will try to keep it brief as it is probably
more interesting to me than it is to you!!
I have been having an amazing time in Egypt, there is
so much to see and do, so much to learn and a lot of
heat to try to survive. Most days we have been
walking around in 48 degree heat, sweating our asses
off and drinking litres of water.
After leaving Dahab we went to Aswan where we went to
the Philae temple, and the supposedly best temple in
Egypt - Abu Simble. You are unable to get there by
road so we had to catch a plane (at 5am for the
sunrise!) which was nice for a change. The temple was
magnificent - Ramses 11 was about 22m high and carved
into the rockface and the artwork on the inside was
amazing. Even more amazing is that they were able to
move these huge structures to higher ground when lake
Nasser started to flood due to the building of the
We then sailed on a felucca up to Luxor, which was
very relaxing. Saw a couple of temples on the way,
but other than that did diddly squat. In luxor we went
to the Valley of the Kings and queens. The valley of
the queens wasn't nearly as impressive as the tombs in
the kings, but we did pay the extra 60 egyptian pounds
to go into Nefertaris tomb inthe queens and this was
really impressive. The paintings on the wall are just
ecquisite (how do you spell that!). Some of the walls
are perfectly intact, depicting the life of this
queen. they only let in 150 people per day, for 10
minutes to preserve the artwork, as apparently peoples
breath and the humidity is ruining the tomb. We also
went to the temple of Hatschput , the site of the
luxor massacre a few years ago.
Our next stop as through the western oasis. We
stopped in Dachla oasis and went on a little day tour
to see some 400 year old islamic tombs (complete with
mummies), swim in some cold springs, climb some sand
dunes etc. We eventually settled
on an overnight otur into the white desert which was
incredivble. The desert is littered with all these
chalk formations (huge). Had another campfire dinner,
bit of star gazing and a good full moon.
That brings us to Cairo now and we are off to see the
pyramids (finally!) tomorrow. I am also about to head
off to have KFC for dinner, shame on me. Tash has
been afflicted with the dreaded diarrhoe so she is
recuperating today, after not having such a good night
in the desert - there arent that many things to hide
behind when nature calls, if you know what I mean.
Cairo should be fun. We got ripped off within 30
seconds of being here when we paid for a taxi to our
hotel which was literally on the other side of the
round about we were standing on!
I think that is about enough for now. Only two weeks
left off our middle east sojourn. Then it is back to
reality really, and trying to find a job to pay for
the next trip.
London - August 2000
Reality hits! Back to London and Nicole straight into a good job as an
Occupational Therapist at Croydon hospital - photo shows the Nursing Home
... watch this space for more of Coley's story, and more pictures!!