Several smaller ones near these 2 large, the largest of the small about 200 feet high, and the others dwindle to tombs of ordinary size, and in the distance other great pyramids rise with grand effect, especially at Sakara. The Sphinx cut from the solid rock so well proportioned it does not seem in the least monstrous, face expressing fine in depth of repose. Supposed to be oldest pyramid, 3 or 4000 years before Christ. Near the Sphinx there is a temple with magnificent monolith square pillars of red granite. Much of the temple has been cleared of sand which once covered all. The views over delta like an island-dotted sea. The ground soaked for a month or two for wheat. Saw cattle and people, boys and girls as well as men wading to armpits on way home - many must be drowned. In the P.M. visited park, saw some fine trees, Plumeria alba with fine leaves and white very fragrant flowers. Chorisia, crispiflora, all covered with short wart thorns, a bush phyllanthus angustifolia with small flowers along margins of leaf-like stems, and many species of ficus. Then went to Bazaar, a wild street swarming with life of all sorts, fine shops full of people of every color. The streets very narrow and very long - was glad to get out of it. Leg weary and eyeweary. November 6th All day in hotel writing, packing, reading, etc. November 7th Left hotel (bill about $5.00 a day) at 8:30 this morning for the Nile trip to First Cataract. Started on little steamer at 9:00. Magnificent views of palm-lined banks and palm groved fields of corn and sugar cane. All the little old-fashioned villages embosomed in palms, almost wholly one species, date. Millions of them, almost the only tree in sight. Around Cairo, a species of acacia forms fine shady avenues. A little way up river only palms, some groves of same age, look gray from ends of leaf stalks on rough trunks, the tops green feathery, the fruit bunches orange colored.
Original journal dimensions: 11 x 16.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist