We took advantage of the luxury room and had a wonderful sleep in! I spent the morning taking care of details - trying to contact the non-existent Cairo Iranian embassy, aranging for the Hilton to accept a package (hopefully my repaired or replacement H/PC), checked email, got a GSM SIM card (a phone number for my phone - want to call me? +20 122 612 810 should work), and changed money (I needed to replace my dollar supply). Amy and I had the huge buffet lunch at the Hilton. It was great because both of us had been craving salad and there were tons of them and hopefully safe...
In the evening we hired a taxi to take us out to the Great Pyramids at Giza. The plan had been to get out there after the tour busses had left, but before they closed at seven thirty. Unfortunately the Lonely Planet guide book is wrong, they don't close at 7:30 they close at 5:00! So we couldn't go in. We decided to hike into the desert on the south side of the complex and watch the sunset. We had to do battle with the many touts who wanted us to hire their camels, horses, or donkeys, but we finally made it. Hiked along the outskirt of some digs, then over some rocks looking down at the pyramids and the sphinx. Along the south side we decided to see how close we could get to the complex as there is no wall. We pretty quickly got waved over by a guard (actually a tourist police officer) and he wouldn't let us go back the way we'd come as he claimed that was closed as well. He offered to let us climb on top of the ruins he was guarding to let us watch the sunset - for a "tip". We were warned to stay out of sight and sit quietly as he didn't want to get in trouble. The spot was actually really nice, we had a view of one of the great pyramids, the sunset, and a maze of tombs in front, and we were nestled among the giant building blocks on the roof.
The sunset was nice, but pretty simple - no firey colors. Afterwards we waited but no one came to get us so we decided to hike down ourselves. As we got to the edge we realized that there were other police down there talking to our's so we snuck back. Eventually he came and got us, but then we had to keep ducking behind rocks to hide from the other guards. It was all very exciting in an Raiders of the Lost Arc kind of way. When we got to the bottom we got caught by three other guards and there was lots of discussion and we were (of course) asked for money - I claimed to only have a few pounds left and turned over about $1 worth. I was very nervous because I still had the money I'd changed that morning (about $800 worth) in my pocket. We were then escorted along the side of the site and through a graveyard towards where we'd come into the desert. At the enterance to the graveyard one of the police told us to go back the way we'd come from so we headed off. Immeadiately one of the other guards started yelling at us to stop. Lots of heated discussion among them then we were told to go, then yelled at to stop again. This was repeated about twenty times each time us making it a few yards closer to the street. It was clear that one of the guards wanted to take us to the captain, while the other three wanted to keep the little money we'd given them. After about an hour of this we made it back to the street and hussled away while they were arguing among themselves. Our taxi driver was waiting for us and was a little upset at us being so late but immediately understood when we explained that we'd had trouble with the police. Nothing like a little adventure!
We were still full from our huge lunch and it was quite late by the time we got back to the hotel so we skipped dinner and decided to watch TV in the room. By chance the discovery channel was showing Lonely Planet's East Africa Tanzania episode so we stayed up late watching all about where we'd just been a couple days ago!