Thursday, April 1, 2010

The tombs of El-Kab Egypt

 To see all the posts for this month click on here
The tombs of El-Kab   was 60egp to get in,  as we left the ticket office we were escorted by one of the Tomb. keepers, I know from past experience these guys not only want a backhander  but a weeks wage they get 500 a month wages,  and if I want a guided tour I would pay a qualified guide who can speak English . I also read up on a place before I go,   and most likely knew more about these tombs than the keeper . apart from the entrance fee,   on the walk to the tombs I asked him where does he live.  no speakin english he said!   and you want to be our guide?   A big smile came on his face as he looked  pleadingly for  a bit of a smile on mine,    no money I said in arabic.( Mafish feluse) all I had  was 200egp notes,  and no way was I going to give him one of them for a pointed tour thats all it would have been as he could not speak our language,  every time I stopped to take a photo he also stopped  and this went on until we reached the first tomb,    the tombs in El_Kad are 18th dynasty  3500 years old. nothing much to see on the outside only what looks like holes in the mountain.
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Once inside the tomb this guy tried it on again, and  decided this tight fisted Welshman has not given me money ,  and started getting abusive  no camera he shouted   how much to take photo I asked in arabic. mia genine,  100 pound.  piss off  I said  and carried on snapping.
 I had two strapped around my neck one had my 100x400 lens  and if they missed that at the ticket office they had to be blind,    where was  the notice to say no camera. all the other tombs I have been in  have a sign  either no cameras  or there is a charge for taking photos? and that is usually 20 pound.   he realized I was not going to stop photographing and made a call to the secret police.  by the time he arrived I had been in one of the tombs. and taken shots without the flash.  as I know the flash can damage the paintings in the tomb. and its some thing I would not do anyway.  but there was other people in the tomb   most likely given the keeper a bit of money  and they were flashing away.  so the conversation with this only what I can call a f-in arsehole, got a bit steamed up.  then he stood behind us  all the rest of the time in the other tombs. as we were about to leave  we had a real ding dong  now if I would have given the cop money  nothing would have been said. half way down the steps  Dave shouted  and was sitting on the wall near the police man and the keeper. buy the way he was one of seven keepers to this tomb usually only one in a tomb this size so maybe three  one for each tomb. just to make sure no one is using a flash.  or rather that they have been paid to use a flash.
so i just pointed the camera to take a photo of Dave  and decided one of the rogue cop. when dave left to join me the cop also decided to come  down on the half way stair flat area  he started again, and went in his back pocket pulled out a crumpled piece of paper to show us  what may have been his orders,   and said see it say no camera.  does it also say  to let people take photo if they give money I asked I can not read Arabic.
so I did not pursue the matter further and walked off.
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in this area there is only an entrance off the road twenty foot High gates with a wall stretching another 50 ft either side. then nothing  no fence or anything not even a notice to say no trespassing along the road.. just like there is no notice no camera  or entry price on the wall above the  ticket office hatch.


 So we decided to see if we could get a bit nearer to the rest of the holes in this part of the mountain . and again this bloody cop came running after us no  no  no! that's OK  I told Dave we can not get up to them anyway too much shale and dirt  it would have been like climbing in a pile of sand. 
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this other tomb was about half a mile away  the cop would not let us go there either  
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This is where Dave decided to piss  as I was waiting outside  this guy came from nowhere they have this knack of appearing as if out of thin air. and we all know what was coming next. so I tried to distract him by taking a photo of the health and safety ready for inspection ladder leaning against the portokabin  wall.
 but no this villager had found himself a job of collecting money from the unsuspecting passers by who need a pee, as we all do and the reason the ministry of antiquities provide such plush wc's. and believe me most of the bus tourists will stop here,  its two hours drive by oach from Luxor and 20 minutes from Edfu where there are no conveniences for the tourist.
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Ok  so I suppose I better mention this gentleman.  I knew Dave when I lived in Wales.  he  suffered from the same complaint as me (Slipped discs)  and being younger than me he opted for an operation   , I refused after the doctor told me the chances of a it working.  twelve months after the op and Dave is much worse  he even has to take morphine as a pain relief,  due to all the cold and damp weather in the UK he decided to visit Luxor for a week to see his old pall. and he decided that a day out  to El-Kab  would do him good,
 and he did enjoy his day out, especially the Weekly market in the village of EL-Kad.  please leave a comment when you get back home   Dave and give my regards to you know who  and tell her I was glad of the company  and without you I would have missed the Cow turning the water wheel.  see the blog before this
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the old mud brick walls to the old city of El-Kab. but today  it was closed and apparently has been for quite a while. 




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