Weren’t we supposed to be going to Ghana?

18 Aug

August 18, 2010 was a bonus day and was sponsored by the Gammie family.  Rich, Cindy, Danika and Tianna – I know that you didn’t give me any specific challenges and I have to admit that I didn’t get much work done on your day…  However, I look forward to sharing some stories with the girls when I return.

EWB has a partnership with Aeroplan, which is amazing since flights are probably the organizations biggest expense. However, in order to economize on points, volunteers sometimes get less than optimal flights…

So the evening of the 16th, 17th and 18th were consumed by a 44 hour flying trek from Toronto to Istanbul to Cairo and tomorrow (the 19th) will feature a 1o to 16 hour bus ride from Accra to Tamale. At first this seemed like the trip from hell, but it actually worked out not too bad…

In Istanbul we managed to tour the Blue Mosque and walk around the Hagia Sophia. The nearby central bazaar was just closing, so we went to a café and sampled Turkish apple tea, coffee and apple-cinnamon and peach-melon flavored tobacco smoked through a Hookah water pipe (don’t worry Mom – apparently the tobacco is less bad for you when smoked this way and I’ve still never smoked a cigarette). Then we went for a wonderful Turkish dinner before catching a cab back to the airport and taking the red eye to Cairo.

Here’s a picture of me by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

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We landed in Cairo at about 2am in the morning and after a fun 45 minutes of negotiating with taxi drivers and tour operators, we managed to catch a ride with some teachers from Ontario who were coming to teach at the Canadian High School in Cairo. We went with them to their hotel, which proved to be too pricy for us, so we arranged for their bus driver to drop us off in downtown Cairo at about 3:30am near the hostels. Luckily the first place we tried put us in a reasonable room with 5 beds for only $25 and we managed to get to bed at around 4am.

The alarm went off at 8:30am and after a quick and simple breakfast, we arranged a tour of the pyramids with the hostel owner. Our driver, Moses, was a lively fellow and he took us first to Gaiza and then to the Sakara pyramids.

At Gaiza we rented horses and a camel and toured around for about two hours. We managed to snap lots of great pictures including the one below. We only had time to snap a few pictures at the Sakara pyramid before having lunch at a tourist trap with expensive prices but good food. Then is was back to the airport to catch our 6:45pm flight to Accra.

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We made it to Accra and we were picked up by Robin and now we’re safely tucked away at the guest house, but no rest for the wicked – it’s midnight now and we have to leave at 5:30am for our 10 to 16 hour bus ride to Tamale!

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4 Responses to “Weren’t we supposed to be going to Ghana?”

  1. Penny Heaslip August 19, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    Only the young can travel on no sleep. P.

  2. Cat August 19, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    Sweet dreams, when you finally get them! And good luck tomorrow.

  3. Monica August 19, 2010 at 4:10 am #

    you are officially a travel warrior….Enjoy!

  4. Gretchen August 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    I hope you took a nap on the horse/camel ride.

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