Journal entry for Monday 19 October 1998
It was just a little more than six months since I had returned home from Luxor and here I was again on my way to Heathrow, this time with my son Kit. It was his 21st birthday in November and I had suggested a holiday in Egypt for his birthday present. Kit was very excited. He had spent much of his life messing about in boats and recently living in Spain (on a boat), but he’d never flown before, so it would be a first for him. I was excited too, not only to be going back to my beloved Egypt but to be able to see it all anew through his eyes.
We met up with my friend Sam at Heathrow. She was also travelling to Luxor and though staying at a different hotel, we planned to do many things together. The Egyptair flight left only an hour and a half late (which was fairly normal) and we all enjoyed the journey over Europe and down the coast of Italy. The erupting Stromboli volcano was sending out dense clouds of steam as we flew over it, providing entertainment as we all crowded around the little window to take pictures. Over the Mediterranean, the in-flight video was typically unmemorable, but soon we were flying over the Egyptian coast and the familiar pang of coming ‘home’ tugged at my heart.
Sam had arranged with her taxi driver friend Abdul to pick us up at the airport. The aircraft had had more passengers this time and it took us a while to get our visas and out through customs. I had been a little apprehensive as Kit had very long hair which I had heard was somewhat frowned upon in Arab countries, but we had no problems. Abdul was outside waiting with a big grin of welcome and after a short ride through the brightly lit crowded streets, he dropped Sam off in Luxor and took Kit and I over the bridge to the West Bank. We were once more staying at the el-Gezira Hotel.
After a ‘welcome drink’ and hugs and greetings from all the hotel staff, Kit and I fell into our beds at Midnight – we had left Cornwall the previous night and we were both very tired but very happy to be in Luxor.