Excursions in Egypt: how to choose firm? Tour operators VS local companies. Part 1
Choosing firm for a trip from Egypt to Jerusalem, I first of all understood one: between tour operators and local firms for each tourist goes, I will not be afraid of this word, real war. And fight methods not the most honest.
The scared tourists, for the first time making a trip to Egypt and planning to take one - two excursions, stay in doubts and confusion: who in general can be trusted? Whether to trust in native tour operators at whom prices are twice higher, whether to go at own risk with local firm. Having passed through all Egyptian excursion thorns, I decided to share the experience and dispel the numerous fears and myths soaring around this subject.
As we went to Jerusalem
At once I will begin with the fact that we as admirers of an extreme, went with local firm which I found previously on the Internet. Initially we were interested only Jerusalem as we had a rest in Tab, rather near the Israeli border (40 minutes of driving). Has to tell that the extreme did not turn out as everything passed surprisingly smoothly and comfortably. The only moment - as the bus could not come around on the hotel territory, we had to go beyond its limits. It turned out that on the territory of hotels pass only buses of tour operators (war as - in any way).
Further the trip went like clockwork. The bus approached the meeting place on the dot. Our hotel was the last in the list therefore further we went to border without stops. The bus was big, comfortable, in it there were more than 20 people, all peacefully slept. On border there were no turns (it clearly, night outside) therefore we passed the Egyptian and Israeli customs very quickly. With us many skilled tourists who traveled already not the first time went. On other party we were met by representatives of firm - the partner in Israel. After passing of customs we changed other, not less remarkable bus in which, by the way, there was no empty seat.
I want to highlight: we paid extra nothing for passing of border as all expenses were initially included in excursion cost. All excursion cost 90 dollars, it included also a lunch. We got a breakfast independently, during the parking on the Dead Sea. A roll (on - Israeli - kurason, it is such very big a roll with a stuffing) and coffee managed around 12 dollars.
After a breakfast on the Dead Sea we went to Jerusalem. We had just remarkable guide. I very much love Israel, and guides saw great variety so you can believe me. All Russian-speaking guides in Israel are natives of the former USSR, with them always is what to talk about and “for life“, and “for excursion“. Had dinner at the Arab small restaurant in the buffet mode. Visited Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, the Wailing Wall and Temple of the Lord`s Coffin.
Several councils for those who are going to go to Jerusalem from Egypt
1. Surely specify whether are included in the excursion price a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner. The dinner, most likely, is not offered anywhere, but who knows …
2. Surely learn whether it will be necessary to pay extra any money upon transition of border (I will in detail consider the cost of transition of border and need of surcharges in the following article).
3. Take a pillow under the head or under a neck to sleep in the bus. Night moving - business extremely tiresome, is heavy to sleep in the bus. Both in Israel, and in Egypt, direct roads are not observed therefore driving not the most comfortable.
4. The uniform rule both for men, and for women - legs, shoulders, stomachs and any speakers of part of a body have to be closed. Pay on it special attention if you go in undershirts and shorts. If you have nothing to be covered, you can just not be let in any temple. And in general it is unpleasant if suddenly the employee of the temple runs up to you and will begin to be indignant loudly, showing on your naked hands. The headdress is also desirable.
5. For people with very large constitution the trip can be far from pleasant as even the comfortable bus chock filled with people will seem to you very close.
6. In payment of any goods during excursion ideal option - a credit card. Of course, in shops accept dollars, euro and shekels, but from dollars and euro to you, most likely, will give change shekels which will need to be exchanged at return to Egypt.
On Moisey`s mountain I decided to climb up Moisey`s grief not with local firm, and with tour operator as the prices were approximately identical. I want to give several cautions by that who does not know that this excursion is.
In - the first, surely take with yourself cash. Do not think that money in mountains will not be useful at night to you. Believe me, they will be more necessary to you than where - or. Rise on the mountain lasts all night long - about 5 hours, including parking. Do not take in head to lose a small lamp! From you will take for its loss as much, how much is all excursion. At the foot of the mountain to you will suggest to visit finally a toilet for 2 dollars (12 Egyptian pounds). I will tell you in confidence that actually it costs 1 pound, but it for those who know. I advise you to use this toilet as further, up to the top, similar institutions though free, but much less comfortable … But also it is necessary to consider that at the top again everything will be for a fee.
In general, free of charge in this excursion you will be able to receive only a boiled water glass. If you strongly are tired on the road, then at your service a camel - 20 dollars. The pleasure is doubtful, but there is no other transport there. During parking in tents of bedouins it will be possible to buy water, tea - coffee and different snack like a snickers - from 2 dollars.
Consider that, having reached top, you at first will wait about 40 minutes for hour X in Bedouin tent, and then 30 - 40 more minutes on the mountain you will already wait for dawn. And now attention: at top it is very cold . The blanket will cost 3 - 5 dollars. Therefore even if on the way to you will be hot, surely take with yourself very warm clothes (sweaters, jackets, covers), otherwise to you not to see any pleasure from a dawn meeting.
And at last, it is back possible to go down other, faster, but also more dangerous and abrupt road which is called a track of monks. I do not advise anybody to choose this way , only if do not move you very strong religious motives. This way of everything is one half an hour shorter, but it is many times more difficult and more dangerous, even in spite of the fact that you on it will go down. During descent, after sleepless night, there is a risk simply - naprosto to stumble on the next boulder and to depart headfirst, having suffered serious injuries and when you reach the end, legs already just will not hold you.
We were just that “lucky“ group, and our conductor for some reason agreed to lead us this track. Heavier and painful excursion in my life was not yet therefore count the forces! Or that who has problems with legs, heart or respiratory system it will be extremely heavy to elderly people to pass this excursion. do not forget that there is no opportunity to turn back.
On it I finish the description of excursions, in the following article - a practical advice at the choice of firm. How not to allow to deceive itself and at the same time to save.
Gratitude for the help in preparation of article: Ibragim Sayed, Alexander Konyk .