We recently had a guest who wanted to see a rock. This rock.
Well with the help of friends on Facebook who love research we identified where the rock was located. Wadi el Hwol, we even got the GPS of the Wadi but we didn’t know if that was the beginning, middle or end.
We got the licence to take her there, a four by four with GPS and off she set. Mahmoud Jahlan went with her to help find the rock. They set off at 5:30 am and explored the area around the GPS but couldn’t find the actual rock but she was very happy that we had given her the best shot at doing so. Poor Mahmoud Jahlan, he and the driver were 9 hours on this journey, while the driver stayed in the car, Mahmoud was climbing around with her exploring and all during Ramadan. He said it was the hardest Ramadan day he had ever done. No water, climbing in the hot sun in the desert for several hours. Flats in Luxor do try their best for their guests, even unusual requests where the guest doesn’t know where they are going and just has a picture and even during Ramadan. Well done Mahmoud Jahlan making dreams come true.
20th June – She sent this review
Jane, Mahmoud and all of their staff went out of their way to make sure my stay went exceptionally well. Very much appreciated. I came into Egypt during a very hot time, which I am far from used to, so Jane made sure that I had the coldest room and right next to the pool so that I could keep cool. The AC worked very well (in Egypt this is not always the case).
I also have food allergies and cannot eat a few other things; fortunately the staff all made sure that my heals were gluten free, and extremely good tasting too. Gluten free eating in Egypt is difficult at best. The driver which they had for me also brought me grocery shopping for snack food as well.
The best part of staying there though was their tours. There were specific out of the way and non-standard places I wanted to see. Fortunately Jane is an expert at such things. Also I wanted to do things such as collect some nile water on the way back, pick up a stone from the outside of each site and so forth, and the staff were just fine with, and even helped out with my odd idiosyncrasies :D. Najar was my driver, and he made sure that I always made it to the places I needed to go, parked in the shade, and offered a stop for water and groceries if needed.
The guide they set me up with was Hussein, and he was very knowledgeable about the temples and tombs, even the newly opened ones. He had more information than previous guides on a couple of places which I had been to before, and had read quite a bit on. I really like the level of his expertise.
They both also made sure to find me the most suitable bathrooms possible during our journeys out of town. This is more important than one may realize in Egypt….
Then Mahmoud and the driver which he found took me on a desert trip to try to find… one particular spot in a wadi. Easier said than done, but we combed the wadi very well. Also a bit of walking and exploring. Fortunately also a lot of patience for the tourist not used to the sun. They both knew the area quite well and were able to check each smaller valley within the larger one. I didn’t have GPS coordinates for where I wanted to go, but through research Jane found the right ones for the area, and then from their knowledge of that part of the desert Mahmoud and his driver narrowed it down further.
I prefer private guides and drivers over the go into each place rushed with 20 other tourists. They were able to do this extremely well. The prices of FlatsinLuxor for these services same or lower than others and their company, drivers, nor guides take a percentage when you purchase items. Yes, most other guides and drivers (even regular taxi) in Egypt, get a percentage of everything you buy, so that the prices are raised accordingly, due to per-arranged deals with the stores and people.
I also noticed I was treated better and with more respect during this time in Egypt, over my last time. This was due to the local people in Egypt thinking well of Jane, Mahmoud, Hussain and Najar. They are seen more as friends and family, instead of just a company transporting tourists in and out.
Btw, their wifi is great (rare in Egypt)