Luxor, Egypt
Date: Lodging: Distance: Total:
28/10/2000 Old Winter Palace 703 KM 105231 KM


28 October 2000 – The Egyptian government forces all tourists to travel in a convoy between Aswan and Luxor since the massacre of tourists in Luxor in 1997. Islamic fundamentalists claimed responsibility. Our afternoon convoy met at the officer’s club where armed military and police officers watched us pull away toward Luxor. We were the only travelers in a private car but four large buses crammed with tourists cruised with us. Both Jim and I agree we would have been far safer without the convoy. First, if someone wanted to kill tourists and make a statement, they know tourists travel everyday on the 8 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. convoy from Aswan to Luxor. Tourists are easy targets. Secondly, the only car escorting our convoy was a small pick-up truck with one, lone young soldier carrying a rifle, the only protection for several hundred foreigners. At one point the convoy stopped so the Luxor police convoy car (a minibus with another lone, young officer carrying a rifle) could take over the lead. We sat on the side of the road for at least 15 minutes in the exact spot the convoy stops every day. Anyone could have raced from the desert hills and massacred all of us. Once on our way again, we were even more surprised when the police convoy car promptly sped ahead leaving us to get to Luxor on our own.

Perhaps the convoy is a well-conceived, even well intended idea, but the poor execution could lead to easy deaths.

  Egyptian customs (Jim)