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Author: jbutera

Joined: 7/9/2010
Posts: 3

December 26, 2010

 Just got back from Egypt last month.  We took 3 buses to Abu Simbel.  We are really hoping that the crash today was not the Grand Circle tour.  Does anyone know yet?  The news reports are only releasing the bus company.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 148
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2002

December 27, 2010

We are leaving January 22nd. It wont change our plans, but it is concerning.

How was Egypt. Weather?

Author: jbutera

Joined: 7/9/2010
Posts: 3

December 27, 2010

 Weather was low nineties to low eighties in November.  Your weather will be even better.

Back to the crash......a tourist on one of the buses said their bus left Aswan at 5 a.m. which was exactly the time we left and "supposedly" only Grand Circle hired their own private police escort to leave at that time.

We are really feeling this was the Grand Circle tour..................

 

Author: jbutera

Joined: 7/9/2010
Posts: 3

December 27, 2010

 Just found an article on the web from Travel Pulse.  This crash was a Grand Circle tour.  Our heart goes out to all of the passengers, guides & drivers involved.

Author: nml

Joined: 12/27/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2009

December 27, 2010

Yes, it was a Grand Circle bus trip.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

December 27, 2010

This is so sad. I think as fellow travelers we almost feel like all of the people who travel with GCT and/or OAT are our friends, whether we have ever met them or not. Common interests, experiences, etc. I am going on this Egypt trip the early part of Feb. I will "carry" these people in my mind and heart with me.

Just is another reminder of how precious life is, how much we should enjoy every minute, and not put off doing things that we want to do for "some day".

So, fellow travelers along this journey of Life and earthly journeys, and those that have taken their final "journey", I wish you Traveling Mercies:  Embrace the journey, may God be with you, arrive home safe and sound.

Author: laserdog

Joined: 12/28/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2009

December 28, 2010

We wish to extend our sympathy and condolences to all affected by this tragic accident.  We made this same trip in late October early November with Amr, Sami, and Amin as our guides.  We pray that they weren't injured but fear the worst.

Andy and Zosha Andersson

 

 

Author: hic4251

Joined: 1/3/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2004

January 09, 2011

To fellow GCT travelers:

Yes, the bus accident was a GCT group.  We were in the first bus with Amin, it was the second bus with Sam that, for unknown reason, drove into a parked dump truck full of sand. The impact sheared off the right side of the bus and killed the 8 people sitting on the right window side.  Many of the injured slide under the seat in front of them or sailed over the top of seats.

Please, if you are travelling on a bus buckle up!! The buses had seat belts but no one used them until after the accident.

I wish GC would post a notice on how people are doing.  10 returned to finish the tour with us, 19 were hospitalized.  Sam was seriously injured, as was the bus driver.  When we left Jan 1st there were still 4 people in ICU.

Ray and Diane LeDesma, Oxnard, CA

 

 

Author: pegheeter1

Joined: 6/28/2010
Posts: 22
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2001

January 09, 2011

Thanks so very much for posting an update on the Egyptian bus crash.

My husband and I have taken this trip twice and ironically, we had Amin as our guide in 2001 and Sam as our guide in 2010, so your report of their presence (Amin's) and injury (Sam) was most painful to hear.  Both were wonderful and outstanding guides, and especially do we wish Sam a good recovery. 

Accidents do happen - but this is a memorable trip, and we certainly hope that it will remain so for some time.

 

 

 

 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

January 09, 2011

Thank you for the update about the bus accident. I kept thinking that GC would post some kind of announcement of sorts or condolences or update or something on their site, but nothing yet. I wonder if it's because of some legal reasons or something.......

I am going on this trip starting Feb. 5, and I expected also to perhaps get some kind of note from GC to people who are going on this trip soon, saying what, I am not sure, but saying SOMETHING.

 

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 148
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2002

January 09, 2011

nancyf, I totally understand your concern!  We are leaving Jan 22nd and have heard nothing.

It's disconcerting to think we are being kept in the dark but will have to trust Grand Circle to keep us safe. 

Author: mctz666

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 35
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2004

January 10, 2011

I suppose you will definitely hear SOMETHING on the first day from your program director personally.

And I am sure GCT sent condolences in private to the families impacted. 

Author: squadronleader

Joined: 1/11/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2010

January 10, 2011

 We have no been home a week and a half from Egypt.  My wife and I were on the bus that crashed.  Terrifying experience, and we were two of the lucky ones.  In our judgment, GCT was top-notch in handling everything post accident.  We have nothing but praise for them.  We understand that the road to Abu Simbel is a dangerous one, and you might think twice before taking that optional tour.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

January 11, 2011

To squadronleader:  Thank goodness that you were okay after being in that bus. It must have been a terrifying ordeal.

You mentioned that the road to Abu Simbel is a dangerous one and recommended not doing that optional. From all that I have read about Abu Simbel, I would surely be disappointed to not go there. Is there any other way of getting there besides by road? Do planes fly there? Do you think that going there so early in the dark may have contributed to the cause of the accident? Wonder if GC could do the optional but go later in the morning when it was light. I would think that a dangerous road/darkness would be a bad combination, for sure.

Of course some of my questions would be for GC to answer. I am just "thinking out loud", so to speak.........

Author: bbblaine

Joined: 7/4/2010
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2010

January 11, 2011

We were on OAT this past September with Sami. Is that the same person as Sam? He had been guiding for a long time. I hope the guide, whoever he is, is much better.

Author: walunt3604

Joined: 12/28/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 17
Traveler Since: 1998

January 19, 2011

We just returned from the Jan 1, 2011 tour.  Because of the accident, we viewed the Abu Simbel trip with trepidation but opted to go anyway.  We started a bit later so we picked up first light  earlier in the trip.  The bus drivers were super cautious, maintaining a 100 yard plus spacing between busses and signalling each other when slowing to avoid potholes, etc.  The road is two lane with no shoulders whatsoever.  You are either on the road or in basketball sized rocks and sand,so careful driving is an absolute must.  I am disappointed, though, because I asked GCT about the accident before leaving and got promised a call-back that never came.  WWL

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 148
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2002

January 20, 2011

We are leaving Jan 22 for Egypt and Jordan. I intend to write a detail trip report when we return.

Would everyone like to join our prayer group!?!

Author: harphil7

Joined: 1/8/2011
Posts: 10
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2000

January 20, 2011

We are leaving for Israel and Egypt on March 26th and will be very interested  to read your detailed report.  Enjoy your trip.

 

P. Carter, New Jersey

Author: sinsabaugh

Joined: 12/31/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2010

January 21, 2011

I was in Egypt in 2008, though not on an OAT or GCT trip. We flew from Aswan to Abu Simbel.

Abu Simbel is DEFINITELY worth a visit. The famous statues of Ramses are only a tease--the exquisite beauty of the temple are the wall paintings and carvings inside the temple--the most colorful, detailed and well-preserved (if historically inaccurate) of any that I saw in Egypt. I understand why such an effort was made to move the temple when the Aswan Dam was built.

Also of interest is the adjacent Temple of Hathor--temple dedicated to Ramses favorite wife (though there are more statues of Ramses than his wife....)

Author: jrich303

Joined: 10/10/2010
Posts: 9
Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2009

March 21, 2011

We took the Nile River trip in November, and so we have been following the bus accident reports closely and hoping it was not a Grand Circle group. But alas, now we learn that it was.  The trip to Abu Simbel was one of the highlights for me, and I would recommend it to anyone. An accident like this rarely happens, thank goodness.

I've been trying to get in touch our guide, Farid Fayed, since all the troubles started, but he has not responded. I know the Gov was blocking the internet for awhile, so maybe he never received my notes. I would be relieved if someone could tell me that he and his family are OK.

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