Pam Devereux has always wanted to go to Egypt, and after a three-week trip there in November, she says it was even more than she had hoped, and she can’t wait to go back.
She will share some of the reasons why Egypt was such a highlight for her during the next Bouchie Lake Lawnchair Travel flight Monday, March 2.
“It’s been on my list forever, pretty much,” she said. “I was interested in archaeology and all that kind of stuff when I was a kid.”
Devereux has travelled a lot of places by herself, but she had been reluctant to go to Egypt alone. In 2018, she found out a company out of Ontario called Wild Women Expeditions did a trip to Egypt, she decided to just book a trip one year in advance. She ended up doing 10 days with the Wild Women Expeditions tour and almost a week by herself before that and close to a week on her own at the end to do some additional exploring.
Devereux travelled to Egypt in November 2019.
“Egypt is magic,” she said. “It’s truly a magical place. Everybody needs to go to Egypt once in their lifetime. I’m not joking when I say there’s magic in Egypt — there just is. The people are incredible, they’re warm and welcoming. There are parts in Egypt, when you sail down the Nile on a Dahabaya, which is a traditional wooden sailing ship, you can put in at all these places where the big cruise ships can’t stop at, and so you go, and this little old man meets you with donkey on the path, and he goes and unlocks a temple that isn’t accessible by road. And we go see a farmer and his family that farm on this island that have farmed there since the beginning of time pretty much.”
“There’s so much about it that is just so completely timeless, and you just get transported back to exactly what it would be like 3,000 or 4,000 years ago,” she said. “It far exceeded any expectations I had — and also, I think, corrected a lot of mistruths that I think we’re given to understand about parts of the Arab world. I had pretty high expectations, and it was far beyond that.”
For Devereux, without question, the best experience was sailing down the Nile on the Dahabaya — the sailing itself and the evenings spent laughing, singing and dancing on shore.
In terms of monuments or things to see, Devereux says the Temple of Karnak and Abu Simbal were amazing. She visited many World Heritage Sites and many ancient temples and pyramids.
“It’s pretty extraordinary,” she said.
She saw the Pyramids of Giza, but she also travelled south to Dashur to see the Red Pyramid, Bent Pyramid and the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, which are extremely old and didn’t have the same overwhelming amount of tourists.
“When I got down there with my driver and my guide, I was the only person inside the Red Pyramid, the only vehicle in the parking lot,” she said. “It was crazy.”
Devereux says the Step Pyramid is one the oldest structures in the world, and one of the really interesting things is they are actively discovering new things all the time.
“They know there are things everywhere,” she said. “What was happening at Saqqara while I was there is they had just discovered this cache of mummified lion cubs, and those were the first lion cubs that they had found. It’s really cool because you can be there also when there is something really exciting or interesting happening as well because they are still making those discoveries all the time.”
Devereux already has a return trip to Egypt planned for five years from now, and she would like to go back before that.
“Without question, I will go back to Egypt,” she said.
Devereux loved the people in Egypt.
“The people were extraordinary warm and welcoming, and, again, I think that’s a misconception we have about travelling to Arab countries,” she said. “People were incredibly open and welcoming and non-judgmental and funny — Egyptian people are beautiful and funny and really engaging, and very, very warm and affectionate. It’s a wonderful place.”
One thing Devereux really appreciated was that there are so many different experiences within one country.
“It’s a country that has dramatically different experiences and people and cultures within the same country,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”
Devereux’s Lawnchair Travel flight to Egypt takes off Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Bouchie Lake Hall. The boarding gates and security open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $8 for First Class and $6 for Economy.
The series is hosted by the Friends of Bouchie-Milburn Society, with proceeds going to support the Fourth Annual Billie Bouchie Day Celebrations, set for the weekend of May 30.