This has to be a decision based entirely on yourself but I’ll tell you our experience. I don’t have a good head for heights combined with movement. Roger doesn’t have a good head for heights. We had decided that we were not going to take the optional camel tour.
We had been warned not to ride a camel at the pyramid itself. It was proposed that these beasts were not quite as humanely treated as that would be available to us after we left the pyramid but that didn’t worry us as we had both been on a camel in the past, not enjoyed the experience and were determined it need not be repeated. We had not bargained on the persuasiveness of our guide. “You may have been on a camel before but you have never ridden one in the Sahara desert, you have never seen the six pyramids lined up in front of you for the perfect photo.” That was it for me. Always in search for the perfect photo and the thought of being in the Sahara desert we suddenly changed our minds and were soon traipsing to the camel camp. My camel was out front. I couldn’t see Roger. I placed my foot in the stirrup and slung my leg over as though I’d done it all my life. My weight caused the saddle to tip to the left (the side where I had my foot in the stirrup). I thought I could correct this by pressing down on the stirrup on the right side only to find this did not exist. Feeling as though I was in a precarious position the camel was then instructed to stand throwing me forward then backward then forward again. At this point I started screaming “Get me down off here” but my cries were ignored. They most likely thought they wouldn’t be paid if I got off. My screaming became louder, hysterical and I started to hyperventilate. I was in the middle of an anxiety attack which was accelerating at a rapid rate. Luckily a tourist, an Egyptian, realised my plight and went and fought with the camel handlers. “Get her off” is what I presumed he said in arabic. Eventually the camel was told to drop and the kind stranger caught me as I dismounted non to elegantly. I walked back passing Roger on the way.
As I passed him he started yelling for them to get him off too – which they did a little quicker than they had me. What I didn’t know at the time was that with his hip (that needs totally to be replaced) he couldn’t swing over the camels back and when he finally got up there his saddle was even more skew whiff than mine and he actually fell off when the camel started to move. They had insisted he get back up but when he saw me get off there was no way he was going to remain upon his beast. He was convinced that he would be off again before the camel had got too far. As it was our group was a little disappointed by the ride. We were of course already in the Sahara and the distance they went was negligible. All said if they were doing it again they would opt for the longer trip rather than the shorter one that we had been advised to take. Our guide told us sadly that he would have to revise his story as the shortest ride to that day had been three minutes – now it was mere seconds.
When it came time to do the balloon ride over Luxor we had again decided that we would not do it. This time our guide used no persuasive techniques to get us to change our mind. I would have loved to have floated over the Valley of the Kings and seen the temples from above but it just wasn’t worth the risk. This time it would be a long way to fall and it was not unheard of for this to happen.
I contented myself taking photos from below.
And we had an experience the others didn’t. Coffee in a small town street.
Our guide hooked up.
and we watched the local life as it past by.
So when it comes to things like camel and balloon rides – listen to your gut. I have found it usually knows best, particularly if you are getting older.