There is no way to describe the hot, dry wind that blows around you as you stare up into the midday sun at the monolith before you. Each block of the pyramid stands to chest level and you sympathise with the poor labourers of the pyramids, scratching our heads, and wandering how they managed to get that last block on top? Not to mention the hours it would take to chisel their stories (hieroglyphs) into rock.
You have the opportunity to pay and wander inside the great pyramids, thinking refuge from the desert and sun welcoming. Either pharaohs were very, very short people, had a hunch-back to rival Notre Dames or they used some kind of transporter to get inside, because the entrance and the tunnel down or up into the pyramid had us bent double clinging to the sides of the smooth rock walls. Once inside you can feel the lack of air as your lungs work harder to find the holes in the rock to give you some more oxygen, alas any it finds quickly departs your body again through your pores as sweat. It is dark and an overzealous egyptian self-appointed “guide” will turn his torch on to drag you around by the hand to show you the various things you paid to see, but all in the hopes you will then also pay him.
Outside again, the hot dry air doesn’t seem so bad in comparison to the humidity inside the pyramid. But once outside you are then swept up and dragged along by a freight train that has lost its brakes -another Egyptian, a camel driver this time. He’s already managed to wrap a turban-like cloth around your head, pry your camera out of your hands and sit you atop his camel, all before you can even see properly again in the dazzling light. He’s convincing you that the only way to see the pyramids is by him dragging his trusty, though smelly and slightly cranky beast around the desert, you sitting atop. A couple of photos before the great pyramids and the smell is overwhelming telling you to ‘get off’!
Despite the pushy camel drivers, self-appointed guides, hot and dusty desert the pyramids really are spectacularly large and inspire awe as to their workmanship. And once you have seen the Sphinx, you can wander across the road for a tub of Kentucky Fried’s best… before heading to Saqqara (yes, another more interesting site not too far away in the desert).