Against our tour guide's advice we decided to spend an extra day in the desert and stop at Kharga. As well as being the capital of the Western Desert it is also the centre of the security forces. This was evident as we picked up a police escort 60 miles before we arrived. They stayed with us even when we went the for a walk in the afternoon. The four of us found it a strange experience walking down the road with an armed policeman and six more in a station wagon which drove past us every 100 yards and waited on the the road for us to pass them. The next day we went to Luxor and whilst we were visiting the Valley of the Kings we bumped into "my old friend" Zahi Hawass who is the Director of Egyptian Antiquities and probably the most famous man in Egypt after Omar Sharif.