As you know the convoy system stopped in Upper Egypt on 1st December so what is it like now. Well I have had 2 trips outside the convoy, one to Abydos and one on the road to Aswan. So what are the differences.
You can leave when you want. We started to Abydos at 6:30 so we arrived when it was cool. (In the summer I would suggest leaving seriously early.) We were able to stop on the way to go to the toilet. We spent as long as we wanted at the site, had lunch in the little café which was really nice and didn’t have to visit Dendara which I always found a disappointment after Abydos. Much nicer to visit on its own and using the Lotus boat. We actually spent about 5 hours there.
Going to Moalla (Ankhtifi) and El Kab on the road to Aswan. Well first we were able to do so without having to wait for another convoy to leave the site. I like Ankhtifi but would not want to spend 6 hours there. In the old days we would have been able to do either Moalla or El Kab but not both. Again we left Luxor when we wanted, stayed as long as we wanted and on the way back we stopped at this little café and had lunch. I don’t think they had ever had a tourist there before. They charged us 5LE for a lunch of bread, foul, cheese and tomatoes for 2!!!!! We did stop at the old enforced stopping place on the way there but actually that was more pleasant because we weren’t in a rush so were able to have more of a laugh with the salesmen.
I felt safer as we were not racing along like wacky races and anyway if a terrorist seriously wanted to attack tourists it is much more difficult when they are not gathered together in a large group at exactly the same time each day. I never quite got the hang of why that was safer. It was relaxing and more interesting because you could stop and see the local life, if you wanted.
Altogether a safer, much more interesting, more comfortable and relaxing trip. Hurrah for the end of the convoys