Tag Archives: Africa

Egypt’s oldest Pyramid and Memphis, the former capital

Post No. 11 — Looking back forty-years to 28 January 1981

Saqqara is on the west side of the River Nile, just a few miles south of Cairo and even fewer from the much more famous pyramids at Giza, but the so-called Step Pyramid has the privilege of being the oldest of them all, as it’s six-tiered design helps show.

The Step Pyramid of Djoser, at Saqqara, is the oldest colossal stone building in Egypt. [Copyright image, 1981.]
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Mosquitos, plans for a Two-week ‘Excursion,’ and a Citadel

Post No. 10 — Looking back forty-years to 27 January 1981

Our cheap hotel was right next to a mosque where very loud loudspeakers were used for the ‘calls to prayer,’ the first of which was in the small hours, each morning.

Street scene on our walk to the Citadel. [Copyright image, 1981.]
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First Impressions of Cairo and the Pyramids

Post No. 4 — Looking back forty-years to 21 January 1981

During my intended six months in Africa, I had planned to join two truck-based groups of fellow overlanders because that was the only realistic way to cover the huge distances I hoped to do. And to this end, I spent my first night in Egypt in a very modest (read ‘extremely basic’) hotel in Cairo, ready to meet some fellow vagrants the following day.

A typical side street. [Copyright image, 1981.]
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Unpleasant Customs (Officers) in Alexandria!

Post No. 3 — Looking back forty-years to 20 January 1981

The ferry across the Mediterranean from Greece to Egypt took just under 36 hours and we arrived shortly after daybreak.

My new-found friend Tom McDade switched from being a laid-back English driving instructor on an adventurous holiday with his Land Rover in Egypt to something more like one of Rommel’s panzer tank drivers in a bad mood when the customs men in Alexandria corruptly tried to rip us off. In this photo, we had paused on the Delta Road, from Alex’ to Cairo, pleased to have evaded a bit of blackmail! {:-) [Copyright image.]
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Backpacking Across Africa 40 Years Ago

Post No. 1 — Looking back forty-years to 18 January 1981

From the age of perhaps six or seven, I was besotted with wildlife television programmes — all in black & white back then in the early 1960s — by the likes of Armand and Michaela Denis, ‘Look,’ by Sir Peter Scott, and ‘Animal Magic,’ by Johnny Morris. 

Before the trip, my mother told me not to come back with a beard but when she saw it was bright ginger, she was convinced this was our Scottish and Viking ancestries shining through and jokingly forbade me to cut it off! My father was much more pragmatic, He simply wanted to know which one was the chimpanzee. {:-) As for the baby chimp, its parents had almost certainly been killed for ‘bush meat’ and its owner claimed he had ‘rescued’ it, but it wasn’t being adequately cared for — a very common, sad fate. (More on this story in a later post.)
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