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Introducing you to the Crooked Compass Chase…
You have heard of the TV show The Amazing Race, now it’s your turn to get in on the action!
Grab a team mate and get your Indiana Jones on as you crack clues, compete and chase through Egypt’s chaos and whirs. Uncover a time frozen core oozing with medieval charm, archaic gods and mysterious mythology. Discover tangles of warrens protecting opulent burial chambers. Test your geographic and historical knowledge as you navigate some of the worlds most formidable monuments in all antiquity.
Think fast, act faster as you traverse this ancient land relying on the kindness of strangers and the necessity of trusting your gut to haul you forward. Embrace unique cultures. Learn language skills you didn’t know you had. Encompass all the journey has to offer. The chase is fast. Things will go wrong. Things will go right. Unexpected encounters will knock you sideways. Your mind will boggle, your heart will swell with frustration and fondness. The adrenaline of conquering will fuel you to push on. After all, this is a chase…
Welcome to Egypt! You will be met upon arrival at Cairo’s International Airport and be transferred to your hotel. The drive to your hotel will be your first glimpse into the chaos you are about to throw yourself into. Pandemonium, blaring noise, blankets of smog and the call to prayer echo over this bustling city. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure to discover this pulsating city. The energy of local life buzzes and is addictive. Street food aromas will overload the senses and a hidden charm will shine through.
This evening, it is time to meet your fellow travellers – the competition. Enjoy an evening cruise along the Nile appreciating a folklore show, dancing and dinner. One eye will be embracing the evening, the other, sussing out the strengths and weaknesses of the other teams. You will then be transferred back to your hotel, where it is time to rest up. Tomorrow the chase begins! (D)
3 nights Steigenberger Pyramids Hotel or similar
This morning you have an early start, departing your hotel at 7.45am to visit the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. Over 3000 years old, the Pyramids of Giza are the last remaining icon of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Constructed from more than 25 million tonnes of limestone, they served as tombs for the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. To the east of the pyramids is the Great Sphinx, the largest single-stone statue in the world. With the face of a man and the body of a lion, it is shrouded by mystery, including the unanswered fundamental questions of who built it and why.
You will then transfer to enjoy lunch at Fefala, a local restaurant specialising in authentic Egyptian cuisine. Fill your belly and fuel your body as right after lunch, the chase is on!
No time to sit back and relax after your meal, you will be presented your first clue and the chase starts now! Unriddle and choose the challenge that will pair best with your teams’ strengths. Are you more of an adrenaline junky or do you prefer to focus, absorb and execute? Disentangle the clue with finesse. GO!
After conquering your challenge, you will be handed a second clue as to where the days check point is. Go, go, go! The race is still on! Ask questions, chat to locals, befriend drivers. The first team to reach the destination will be crowned todays winner! Once all teams have checked in, you will be transferred back to your hotel – buzzing with stories about the days rendezvous, obstacles and triumphs! Be sure not give away your secrets! (B,L)
Be ready to head off at 8am from your hotel lobby where you will receive your first clue of the day. Are antiquities and artefacts your thing or navigating labyrinths and pharaonic pieces more your style? Analyse your clues and select your challenge. Hit the road and go!
Once you have successfully completed your challenge, you will be handed a second clue as to where the days check point is. Don’t slow your pace! This is still a chase! The first team to reach the destination will be awarded as the days winner! Once all teams have checked in, you will be transferred back to your hotel where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure and most likely to be spent sharing many laughs, frustrations, achievements and character building moments. (B)
This morning you transfer to Cairo airport for your flight to Aswan. Egypt’s third largest city, and the largest in Upper Egypt, it is situated at the foot of the Nile Valley at the northern tip of Lake Nasser. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel to check in. This afternoon, you will visit the High Dam and Philae Temple. Although it was constructed several millennia after the majority of Egypt’s iconic landmarks, the High Dam is equally as impressive. A miracle of modern engineering, the dam is 110m high, spans over three kilometres and contains eighteen times the materials used to build the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Once the largest rock-filled dam in the world, today the dam provides irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt.
Philae Temple, regarded as the prettiest temple in Egypt, was dismantled and reassembled on higher ground after the completion of the Aswan High Dam threatened its existence, the temple is dedicated to the goddess Isis and is set on its own island. You will also visit the unfinished Obelisk. (B)
2 nights Anakato Nubian House
Your chase today commences after breakfast. Be sure to fuel up! Today is all about culture. Be open minded. Your patience will be tested, your ability to work as a team pushed to the limits. Translate and breakdown your clue as this could make or break your position on the leader board!
Once you have completed your challenge to the satisfaction of your judge, you will be handed your next clue. Decode it, push on. You are almost there!
The first team to reach the final destination will be granted the status of today’s winner! Once all teams have checked in, you will be transferred back to your hotel where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure. (B)
An early start this morning, as you depart your hotel around 4.30am and make your way to the iconic Abu Simbel Temple, approx. 300km – 3.5hrs south of Aswan.
Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the ‘Nubian Monuments’, they are amongst the most interesting temples in Egypt. Dating back to 1290 – 1223 BC, they consist of two rock-cut chambers faced by huge rock carved statues of King Ramesses II that commemorate victory at the Battle of Kadesh.
In the mid 1960’s, threatened by the rising water of Lake Nasser while the High Dam was constructed, with international support and the help of UNESCO, the entire site was carefully cut into large blocks, dismantled, lifted and reassembled in a new location, higher and back from the water, in one of the greatest challenges of archaeological engineering in history.
After visiting these amazing temples, you will transfer back to Aswan for a relaxing afternoon as you board a traditional Felucca on the Nile. Zig zag your way across the calm waters using only the wind to power you along. Towering sand dunes on one side and sprawling city on the other. Sail to the small, dusty village of Daraw where the Felucca will dock and you will spend the night on board. (B,L,D)
Overnight onboard the Felucca
A thrilling morning of witnessing untouched culture and tradition at its best. Visit the famous camel market of Daraw where the Egyptian and Sudanese traders buy and sell camels. On a busy day, there can be thousands of camels for sale. Some arrive plodding along in an old worldly caravan style, others arrive on lorries. The buzz and excitement of the market will captivate you as the banter and haggling between merchants and traders surrounds you.
Following the buzz of the markets, you will hit the road and transfer to Luxor. Luxor, once an Ancient Egyptian capital, is known today as the world’s ‘greatest open-air museum’. From the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings and the magnificent sunset views at the majestic temple complexes of Karnak and Luxor, this city is the perfect choice for culture vultures.
Luxor is divided by the Nile into two areas commonly called the East Bank and West Bank which were considered in Ancient Egyptian times as symbolising respectively life and death.
While the East Bank has grown to become a modern city, it has retained its lush green setting, its traditional bazaar and stunning view of the Nile. The West Bank is known for its necropolis and mortuary temples: The Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Workers Village, and the Temple of Medinet Habu are the highlights of Luxor’s West Bank. In Ancient Egyptian mythology, the setting sun to the west symbolised the journey to the afterlife. (B)
3 nights Eatabe Luxor Hotel or similar
An early start this morning as you are picked up from your hotel between 4.30am and 5am. You will be transferred to the hot air balloon launching point where you then float into the sky and take in the incredible vistas as you drift over the Valley of the Kings. It is truly spectacular as you witness the changing colours of the valley below as the sun rises. The West Bank of Luxor is truly an archaeological paradise.
Your visit to the West Bank this morning will include a visit to the Valley of Kings and Queens which is the burial site for almost all of the Kings (pharaohs) and Queens. You will also visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at El Deir.
Hatshepsut was a rare female pharaoh. The Temple of Deir El-Bahri is one of the most characteristic temples in the whole of Egypt, due to its design and decorations. It was built of limestone, not sandstone like most of the other funerary temples of the New Kingdom period.
It is thought that Senimut, the genius architect who built this Temple, was inspired in his design by the plan of the neighbouring mortuary Temple of the 12th Dynasty King, Neb-Hept-Re. The Temple was built for the great Queen Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty), to commemorate her achievements and to serve as a funerary Temple for her, as well as a sanctuary of the God, Amon Ra.
You will then be transferred back to your hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure. You may wish to explore Karnak or Luxor Temple on your own, or perhaps you will spend your time plotting and planning tactics for the following day! (Breakfast box).
There’s nothing like starting the day with raising your heart rate as you race. Unravel you first clue. Choose wisely. Today is tough both physically and mentally. Focus is paramount for success and you must work together with your team mate. Endurance may be required. Think your strategy through before setting out. Communication is key. Will slow and steady win the race for your team, or does time wait for no man?
Once you have successfully completed your challenge, the final clue will be handed to you. This is your last chance to improve your rank on the leader board. Interpret and solve the clue and forge ahead.
The first team to reach the final destination will be crowned today’s winner! Once all teams have checked in, you will be transferred back to your hotel where you will prepare for this evening’s farewell dinner on board a traditional Dahabiya, where the overall winner will be announced.
A Dahabiya is a traditional wooden river sailboat which were common in the days of the monarchy (1920s – 40s) when aristocrats and sophisticated travellers loved to cruise the Nile in style. Now it is your chance to cruise in old worldly elegance whilst being served dinner and the awards ceremony takes place. Enjoy celebrating your journey with your fellow travellers. There is certainly nothing quite like what you have all just experienced together! (B,D)
Following breakfast, it is time to transfer to the airport for your flight back to Cairo where your tour ends on arrival. Farewell your rivals (friends) who you now share an incredible bond with having completed such a phenomenal experience together as you continue to your onward destination. (B)
Should you wish to continue your time in Egypt, please contact our team to discuss suitable extension packages.
Download this tour’s PDF brochure and start your planning offline!
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 8 adults (4 teams) is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
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This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.