The heat was unbearable so the tato wrapped his head in tin foil and hoped he wouldn’t bake.

The novelty of his long trek by camel across the desert had long since worn off. Especially considering he had to stop every few hours to pull down his trap door and empty himself of the fine granules of sand and grit that had found there way into every orifice.

Spud & Lou Lou

Growing demoralized and dehydrated, Spud tried to keep his hopes high by thinking of all the things he was going to do when he got to Luxor: Crap tables, Roulette, free drinks in the casino, Cirque de Soleil shows, all you can eat buffets….

Finally, Abdullah announced their pending arrival at Luxor.

Much to Spud’s chagrin, there were no showgirls or neon lights like Luxor in Las Vegas. Instead Egypt’s Luxor is an ancient city amongst the Valley of the Kings where the tombs of many Pharaohs were found; most notably the tomb of Tutankhamun: King Tut.

The tater checks out the graffitti on the great columns of the Karnak temple complex

This area has been popular for tourists for centuries. As Spud wandered amongst the ruins, the tato was surprised to see remnants of ancient graffiti carved into the walls dating all the way back to 278 BC. The Potato asked Abdullah what the graffiti apparently written in ancient Cypriot said, to which the guide replied “Tut is a wanker

The obelisk of Queen Havetospit...err HatshepsutThe Karnak Temple complex was the next stop at Luxor. Spud was not all that familiar with many of the pharaohs whose temples he had visited, but after watching the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for many years, he certainly knew who Karnak was.

Arriving at the Valley of the Kings. The Valley of the Queens is in San FranciscoThe site consisted of a veritable city of ruined temples and chapels. Spud looked around in awe at the gigantic complex consisting of hundreds of massive columns, towering 10.5m (35 feet) in height and adorned in hieroglyphs – the pictorial alphabet of the ancients.

An enormous pointed column called an obelisk stood 29m (100 ft) tall and weighed in at a whopping 328 tonnes. Abdullah advised that the obelisk was erected to Queen Hatshepsut; one of the few female pharaohs in Egypt. Spud mused that another woman had not assumed such power and influence over a people until Oprah Winfrey.

Travelling further South, the potato and his guide finally arrived at the Abu Simbel temples. Carved out of the mountainside under the direction of Pharaoh Rameses II, the largest temple was a monument to himself. Having an ego to rival that of Donald Trump, the entrance is flanked by not one but 4 statues of the Pharaoh and his giant head.

The tato learned that Rameses II was not completely self serving. At Abu Simbel, the pharaoh did have a temple erected in honour of his favourite wife Nefertari, which rumour has it, did not sit well with Rameses’ other 200 wives. The other spouses did consider taking him to divorce court, but recanted when they realized alimony didn’t exist yet.

Spud found that the most astonishing thing about Abu Simbel was the fact that the entire complex was dismantled block by block in the 1960s and moved to a manmade hill at a higher point nearby so that it would not be flooded when a dam was built on the river Nile.

The move is considered to be one of the most amazing engineering feats of our time and definitely one of the costliest. A costly undertaking like that would bankrupt most nations, however Spud learned that the cost of the move was funded by Rameses II’s investments in a prophylactic company.

Pharaoh Rameses monument to himself

When the dam was built, the valley flooded and created the largest man made lake in the world: Lake Nasser. The immense body of water stretches for over 550km (340 miles) in length. Spud took an opportunity to seek respite from the blazing heat and blowing sands and boarded a traditional wooden sailing/fishing ship, called a Felucca, for a sail across the lake.

The float trip was short lived however when a crew member mistook him for bait and tossed him overboard. The tater took it as a subtle hint that it was time to leave Egypt…

Getting ready to settle back for a relaxing snooze on Lake Nasser

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