Today was another 6.00 am rise. We forgo a morning shower so we’d have plenty of time to eat breakfast. We travelled to the Egyptian Cemetery site of Beni Hassan. This was across the river and took an hour or so to get there. The route was very long, going out of the way so that we stayed on the main roads. This was apparently insisted on by the police. On the road we went past a large prison, many women waiting outside, presumably visiting. Getting on to the main road, we went through a toll. Only cars and trucks are stopped to pay, the tourist buses are allowed to pass through for free.
Arrived at Beni Hassan where there was a short walk up the hill to an array of tombs. Good view of the Nile, which was not far away. For much of the Northern part of the river, the green fertile belt is very small on the East side. The West side has a much wider strip. The East side is more rugged and gets higher very quickly.
There were three tombs we were able to view. On this visit we encountered some German tourists who were there before us! We visited three tombs, tomb 15 Baqet from Dynasty 11, tomb 3 Khnumhotep from Dynasty 12, tomb 2 Amenemhet from Dynasty 12. The first and third tombs had excellent paintings.
We now had an hour’s drive back to the boat for lunch, and then out quickly afterwards to the Tomb of Petrosiris. This tomb was on our side of the river, but we crossed over, went on past where we were in the morning (almost), crossed over the river again, and backtracked a way. It would have been so much better if we could have had a packed lunch and continued to the second site. Several hours of time would have been saved.
At Tuna El Gebel we visited the Tomb of Petrosiris. I did not buy a photography ticket, it was around £15, which was the same price as the previous site. I regretted not buying it very quickly, but did get some pictures when the tomb guardian allowed me to do so after I gave him a tip.
After this tomb, we went into the Catacomb galleries. There was a mummified baboon there to be seen. As we entered the one gallery, one of our group fell badly. The consensus was we would not continue. There were bats in the catacomb. I don’t have photographs as it was rather on the dark side. Amazing how many people don’t like bats!!! We regretted not bringing out bat detector. Luckily the person who fell was fine with no after effects.
The way back to the ship was more direct, on the way we stopped off to see a couple of Baboon statues. We then continued on to the ship through the local roads. They were rather busy and it took sometime to reach the ship, despite out police escort.
We arrived back rather late, time for a quick shower, then cocktails and supper. After supper, we went for a walk around the local town of El Minya, with our guides. But it proved to be rather embarrassing, there were 18 of us on the walk, and 21 police protecting us. Armed police, plain-clothed police, young balaclava wearing police, police motorcyclist and a squad car. Traffic held up at each junction. Other people were kept away from us and we moved along in a tight group. We walked up the street past shops, which we could not enter. One of our group was able to purchase a touch. One of the guides went into the shop with him and bought it in record time. But we did manage to shake hands with some young children who were out near the boat enjoying the fine evening.
Back at the cruise
We remained at El Minya overnight.