Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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Easily the most impressive temple I visited, Abu Simbel is also the most difficult to reach. Accessible only by a four-hour bus ride, escorted by the military and within a stones-throw of the Sudanese border, Abu Simbel sits on the edge of a large lagoon on the Nile - a lagoon in which until recently it sat covered in water and mud. Essentially two temples, one to a pharaoh and one to his wife, Abu Simbel was originally carved in a single piece from the face of a sandstone river gorge. However, the rising waters submerged that portion of the face, making it exceptionally tricky to recover. In essence, engineers had to carve out the stone around the entire temple, and then dice the temple itself into thousands of numbered pieces, finally to reassemble them eighty meters away at the water's new edge. Knowing this, it's incredibly impressive how well they did that job. The cuts to the temple itself are extremely will hidden, just as they're exceptionally apparent in the surrounding rock face. It's like Legos, on a very large scale.
Modeling the latest in Egyptian fashion is Alexandria (not to be confused with Alexandra, in other pictures). After we toured these temples, she went to the nearby market in search of postcards. To my amazement, she is the world's best (as far as I know) haggler, and managed to get her cards at a wonderful price. Next I decided to get a Coke and I, being me, was just about to pay the asking price (after all, who haggles on a can of Coke?), until she stepped in and managed to get two cans at a much better price (though not without a great deal of haggling). Triumphant, she walked away with Coke and hand, only to have it absolutely explode on opening and douse that same pretty white dress with the sticky substance. Despite being so shocked at the occurrence, it didn't take long before we started wondering if he was shaking the can before giving it to her. And, to add insult to injury, everything left in her can was frozen solid.
My can, however, was cool and non-explosive, and tasted great on a hot desert day.

It's a little known fact that the ancient Egyptians were avid fans of miniature golf. Shown here is the pharaoh with his almighty putter.

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