The donkey is a common means of transport in Egypt: you see five-year-old boys, old women and peasants riding donkeys with all sorts of luggage. And even tourists like us can give it a try on an organised donkey ride.
How to ride a donkey
Mondy picks us up around 5 pm at the hotel with Sissi (whitish and nervous) and Minnihaha (grey and lazy) for our sunset ride on the West Bank of Luxor. To mount the donkey one has to perform a jump reminding of the vault practice during physical exercise lessons in school. Natascha robs undignified onto the back of Sissi, while Isa cheats by using a stepping stone. And off we ride!
Exploring the Luxor West Bank on the back of a donkey
First we have to cross the only busy street on the the West Bank and even ride along it for a while. One would expect the drivers to be considerate of some clumsy foreigners on donkeys, but it seems they are sufficiently occupied with the normal traffic chaos. Natascha and Sissy almost collide with a microbus, the passengers curiously watching and waving.
But once in the more quiet alleys, we start to enjoy the permanent rocking on the animal back. It is nice to to meet other donkey riders coming back from their fields on eye level. On the way we visit the village of New Gurna, built by the Egyptian architect Hassan Fatih at the end of the 1940s, relish at the sunset at the Pharaonic temple of Medinet Habu and fight the mosquitoes on the way back along a water channel. We even consider briefly buying a donkey for our next trip to Egypt.
By the way: No muscle soreness from our donkey ride the next day!
NB: Our donkey ride was not sponsored in any way.