Monday 12 March 2012: Number 88
I needed a photograph of a Hantour or Caleche so I crossed the Nile, with the light roadster(Bicycle) and braved the hectic streets to see Ibrahim, who has possibly, one of the nicest caleche and horses in Luxor.
He and his brothers are regular visitors to Ace, Mohamed is almost 7ft tall and Ibrahim who is a wisp compared to his elder brother!
Ibrahim was not there, but Mohamed his brother was and apologised for not collecting 'Black Beauty' from Ace, the day before. 'No problem' I replied.
He told me there had been a big meeting with the 'Boss' of the caleche and all the drivers.
For almost a year now, we have had over a thousand caleche on the streets, 300 of those are licensed to work in Luxor. This has caused a large number of problems, the main problem being there are so many visitors to Luxor, it is almost impossible for everyone to earn a living.
The 300 that are licensed (The photo shows the carriage licence) are permitted to work and have allocated areas that they stay. For example, Mohamed must stay at the Sonnesta Hotel and cannot work from another spot, similarly to taxis.
At this meeting, it was agreed that the licensed caleche will work from their allotted place and if a driver does not have a licence, he must stay at the side of Luxor Temple. This certainly does not solve the many issues around all these excess carriages, as there were almost 50 parked up as I walked by yesterday. How can they get work? The horses are in a sad state. There is no water for them. The smell is so strong and riding through urine covered streets is not pleasant at all.
It is an ongoing problem that I feel needs a lot of attention. I truly hope that this meeting is a catalyst for change. Sadly, I do not feel so confident and worry for the welfare of the animals.