Firstly, an apology to the followers and regular readers, that I somehow or other deleted the ability to comment on each post. At last, I have found the check box so now you can post your comments again– good or bad – for all to read. Please do – even if you have to go back and read some posts again! As at June 19th, there had been a total of some 7,500 hits, so someone, somewhere must be reading it, but the analysis for June only is interesting, as there have been views from the usual places plus Bahrain, Singapore, US Virgin Islands, Malaysia, India and Germany.
Anyway, most of the passengers were up early for our day in the Suez canal. Our cabin is on the port side so we probably had the better view and also the shadier view as at 8.5 knots, this really was more like a river cruise. From an engineering and an economic and political perspective, the Suez Canal must rank in the top three of anyone’s list. Just to show how we found it plus the arrival, Paula and I took over 300 pictures across three cameras – most of which we haven’t even seen yet, plus some video. All along the canal, people were hooting and waving and this ranged from children to adults, soldiers to fishermen, truck drivers to motorcyclists. Hopefully I’ll have attached a couple of representative pics along with the harbour.
Our expected arrival time in Port Said was 6pm, but as head of the convoy heading north, it appears we had a straight through run and arrived a couple of hours early. For once we berthed on the port side at Port Said (! – sorry about that...) Our cabin was almost in a direct line to a main street where the noise of car horns is just about non-stop.
The secure area of the wharf is where many stall holder set up, seemingly to block free access, so that you are forced to run the gauntlet of traders who are a bit more pushy than elsewhere (so far) and travellers of a nervous disposition, particularly lone or elderly females, are easy targets. We waited until the rush to get onto dry land had abated a wee bit and ambled off into the stall area, determined to check out the prices. Just as an example, a specific pewter item Paula was keen on ranged from $35US down to a non pushy $15 US... (Most places seem to accept US dollars.) Many items were duplicated so an opportunity to compare prices before committing, though many did purchased early. Often they want you to buy a second item and their ploy is to put it in the bag with the one you want and charge for both. You have to be quite firm and take it out again! However, there was one item we bought 4 of, as gifts, and I am not giving away the prices or the details, but suffice to say they were one tenth of the price we’d been quoted in a previous stop!
We hopped back on board again for dinner and as the others are off to the pyramids tomorrow, they retired early. What a shame!
We needed ‘cam boy’ Garry in the half-full Vista lounge for David Copperfield’s show. No, not the illusionist, but a British TV star I remember well from a comedy series called “3 of Kind” about 1980. ( The other two were Tracy Ullman who has since made a name for herself in the USA and the well known black comedian, married to Dawn French – or was until recently I believe, Lenny Henry.)
David’s performance was a classic of a very talented performer with a great show of mainly humour but he also possesses a fine singing voice and plays the guitar well. Yours truly, sitting about 4 rows from the front got roped into the act (literally...) and ended up sitting on his knees, with a barber’s type cloth over me, hiding him, whilst he had his arms in the smock and made out it was me playing the guitar! He is a master of the unusual and offers the microphone to you but before you can say anything, he has responded in a squeaky voice for you. His audience interaction was great too, with lots of people involved .
He asked the audience to name a favourite singer and the first response was Cliff Richard, whereupon he borrowed the glasses of an audience member and did a great take off. He then had to borrow the glasses again for ‘Roy Orbison’. His other ongoing gag was that every time he hopped up on stage, he made a rude noise into the mike and complained that there was a squeaky floorboard. I just loved this show as he made most of the previous comedians look quite lame. So sad that he isn’t around long enough to do another and that most of the passengers missed it. The first standing ovation on this cruise and well deserved.
A great day though Paula was getting a bit croaky later on, so straight to the cabin afterwards. A quiet day in store for us tomorrow.
Almost forgot. Had a nice email from daughter Julie who said that she is happy enough to pick us up from the airport when we return to Auckland. We had a chat with the captain, but he says that he would prefer the usual berth at the quay in the port of Auckland, as the jumbo jet pilots get a bit miffed if he parks at the airport.