Well to summarize it, the trip was amazing.
Egypt is about great food and having a good time, not about sticking to a German/Japanese Schedule. (Go to Japan if that’s your expectation…) If you love enjoying a combination of impressive historical sights, very good riding and Egyptian cultural experiences, this is the correct trip for you. (If you don’t like to share sights with a lot of people, now is the best time to travel.)
Last year I did the Luxor/Hurghada combination with Emma and her team. Totally loved it and was thrilled to see Depth of the Desserts being offered for Silvester.
We started off in Cairo, stayed at a hotel with roof top view onto the pyramids of Giza. Pretty impressive for a breakfast location. Riding in Cairo is a lot like Hurghada, its basically sandy open dessert, but directly next to the pyramids in Giza/Sakkara. (So tons of gallops).
First day we rode horses from two different stables and consequently were asked to choose which ones we preferred. (The horses did not limit the location, they simply put them on a trailer so we could ride in various locations). After a couple of days, transfer to Luxor. This is ride Egypt’s own stables. Landscape and rides change, Luxor is calmer, with more to see and experience.
Emma and team are working very hard to make the trip an experience which stands out from other trips I have done. We went for cooking lessons, sightseeing, crawled into caves, champagne on top of a Nile boat, spice shopping, dinner on a Nile cruiser, camel riding,…
The rides are a lot of fun. The guides will adjust to the wishes of the group and the horses are very good. The horse I initially asked for was not well the second day, so I ended up getting Faruk. He is a beautiful white stallion, usually not used for trails (he is a dance horse). I did fall in love with him. So I was surprised to be allowed to ride him for the remaining trip, but very thankful for the honour.
Our guides made sure we did have fun on the rides and take home stunning pictures. They took good care of us. On our last ride we were going into the dessert up some mountains. Beautiful view, but a very a hot day. So we came back into the village already close to sunset and there was a little kiosk.
Five minutes later, I was having a cooled coke, while steering my horse western style, trying to get close enough to the guide once in a while to receive the Egyptian sweets he had bought. Never imagined, I’d be having a coke on a horse, but after all the cantering in the dessert, it was a really nice treat.
One additional thing I love about ride Egypt: Their handling the tipping part. Emma will just ask for 100 $ (payable in various other currencies, too) and you never have to worry about tipping anyone (seriously as a foreigner from no tipping cultures this is set to fail).
Usually the best trip can fail when the group just doesn’t match in interests or skill level. Last year I was very lucky to end up in a group where it matched well. This year, the group we had in Cairo was a perfect match, but the additions in Luxor turned out to potentially ruin the trip. Didn’t happen, since Emma quickly recognized separating the group would make it much better for everyone. So we ended up riding with the same cool group of people in Luxor, too. Very grateful they had the extra horses and guides in place.
So will miss the team till I get a chance to return.