Connie Tindale


All cooking appliances and many water heaters run on gas in Luxor but there is no mains gas service. Instead gas is bought in containers from carts that pass along each street several times each day. You cannot really miss them as somebody on the cart bashes the bottles with a metal bar to make a loud noise.

Gas bottles seldom come with a cooker or a water heater, they have to be bought separately although they can sometimes be bought from the same shop. The bottles are bought empty and have to be changed for a full one before the appliance can be used. This can be upsetting as the replacement full bottle is invariably old and battered. I have never seen a newish bottle on a cart and one wonders where they all go and whether they are sold back to the shop.

The cost of full bottles depends upon the supply and the bargaining powers of the supplier but generally the cost is between 6 le and 10 le per bottle. The bottles are large enough to last several months. However, when supplies are scarce, the price can rise to 30 le and above.

Fitting the bottle can be tricky unless you are used to it but the cart owner will carry the bottle to your flat and fit it for you for a few pounds. It is wise to buy the appropriate size spanner needed to deal with the pressure gauge and replacement washers so that you can deal with emergencies.