Wednesday, January 30, 2019



At the Pyramids in Egypt

I didn’t think I believed in curses until I got to Egypt a few weeks ago. The trip was full of mysterious happenings like those you would read about in a psychological thriller. I knew things were going downhill on day one when I climbed upon my trusty camel and found that it behaved more like a thoroughbred racing horse than one of those bactrian camels you see lumbering around the Sahara. Our guides looked to be about twelve years old, each handling about 5 or 6 camels, all linked together. I looked ahead of me and saw one such herd coming at my herd at a ferocious speed and tried to figure quickly what was the best action to take. Should I hold on for dear life at both front and back braces or should I remove my knee from the stirrup since the herd was coming directly at me. Surely the camel guides would steer them another direction, but no. They raced full speed ahead like racehorses aiming for the finish line and brushed strongly against my camel, my foot and knee faced outward. Luckily I didn’t fall off but unluckily, the camel made a direct hit on my knee and kept on at full speed. I figured I may as well have a good time on the camel after that and view the pyramids and sphinx and deal with knee when I dismounted since I felt no pain.

Before Camel Mishap

The curse I am referring to has nothing to do with the mummy horror movie but of the tale of archaeologist, Howard Carter and his backer, Lord Carnarvon, also owner of the castle where they filmed Downton Abbey. Carter brought his team to Egypt and worked for five years trying to find the tomb of Tutankhamen; King Tut. The story goes, and how true it is I don’t know, Lord Carnarvon brought along a canary that they considered to be good luck. Before they could take the canary to the tomb, the team found an Egyptian python ate it! Carter and his men anxiously pried open the lid of the coffin to find the embalmed body of Tut. Shortly after, he became sick and not too long after, Carnarvan was rushed to the hospital in Cairo and died as did several of the others who were exposed to the coffin. Supposedly, there was a stone covering the mummy telling of a curse placed there to protect King Tut that Carter hid. It read “Death shall come on swift wings to him who destroys the place of the king.” More than eleven people died according to the papers, including Lord Carnarvon’s dog, who died reportedly the same time Carnarvon was rushed to hospital and pronounced dead. A month later, his secretary jumped from a window to his death. These deaths and incidents started being referred to as the curse of Tut’s mummy, Later it was believed to be poisonous mold that escaped from the coffin when opened. None the less, my journey seemed to be plagued with one onerous thing after the other.

Alli Enters the Great Pyramid (Tan Jacket)

The trip was in honor of my granddaughter, Alli’s upcoming graduation from VT s master program. She and I had no idea until we reached DC that there had been a bombing, possibly but not necessarily, directed at tour companies. None the less, my son, Cam, showed us the small paragraph in the paper stating that 4 people,including the tour director, had been killed after a bomb hit the bus while it was returning to the Marriott hotel at Giza, exactly where we were headed. This attack took place just days before we arrived on January 3rd. We called our tour company and were assured they believed it was an isolated incident. When we got to Cairo, we were told the entire area was under high alert and that we were to have 2 body guards that escorted us wherever we went, sitting right at the front of the bus. Also, we had 2 armed police cars at the front and back of our bus the entire time. The guards escorted us for the rest of the tour.

Alli and Me With Friend, Mike, Who Will Definately Play a Role in New Book

I learned that tourism has been at a standstill in Egypt since around 2011 and all there were happy to see it coming back, only to have yet another incident by Isis. Reports said that 40 of the dissidents were shot a few days after the incident but I never saw more than a small article claiming this.

Lots of mysterious events occurred during the tour, most of which might be expected while touring what could be the oldest ancient ruins in the world. I’m saving those mysteries for my upcoming book but will continue here with a few more gruesome details from the trip.

Nothing that happened thereafter was normal. Nothing. When we finally landed down from Cairo and after waiting for 9 hours at JFK because our plane was trapped in a snowstorm in Boston, we boarded our plane heading for DC. When we were just above the airport in DC, the plane started to land, but then and then took to the air again for another go around Dulles airport. We were told it was a computer glitch. As soon as the plane came to a halt and we could get WiFi, the first message was that my daughter, Kelli, had been rushed to the hospital with pneumonia. Then, the next morning, we got word that while she was in the hospital, her husband, and my son in law, Lewis, was found dead in the family bathroom. This traumatic event threw the family into turmoil and sadness. The funeral is over and at this point, I really don’t want to leave the house for awhile. Superstition? Curses? I don’t know but I can add up about 15 strange things that happened since I got to Egypt and I am on the edge, hoping it has come to an end. I am taking one day at a time.

These adventure trips I take provide inspiration for my books. This time, however; I got more than I bargained for. I want to make clear, I don’t write my books- they write me. As I expected, the trip to Egypt was life changing. Hope you will stay tuned to read more and see more of the mysterious I found in Egypt.

Alli and I Ventured Off the Beaten Track to Find a Nubian Village Where the Oldest Tribe of People in Egypt Live. We Were Greeted By the Chief

I'm Game for Anything. Here We are Partaking Hookah in a Shisha Session!

My Buddy While in Cairo (And I'm Afraid of Big Dogs!)

Serenaded by Nubian Villager

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