Felucca trip from hell - day 1

Nubian village Travel Blog

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After getting up yesterday at a stupid hour today is somewhat more relaxed. I will be in Aswan until 1 in the afternoon. Then leaving on a Felucca to go down the river Nile to Luxor stopping at a couple of temples along the route. At least that was what I thought would be the plan for the next couple of days.


There are three ways to get from Aswan to Luxor. You can go by train which is the fast, easy and boring way to do it. You can go by a cruise boat the cruise boats on the Nile looks more like a house than a boat and they are pretty noisy. The cruise boat is the way to go down the Nile in style. The third option is the old fashion way to go by feluccas the traditional Egyptian sailing vessels used since the days of the faros. The last option sounded a lot more interesting than the first two possibilities so I went the felucca way.


I spent the morning staying inside my hotel room enjoying the air con only leaving to go to an internet place which also had air con. Getting some water for the trip - and other necessities then back to the hotel - had to be out of the room at 12 sharp - well this is Egypt nobody probably cared if I left the room at 11, 12 or 13 but hey I am from Denmark so when it says check out at 12 I check out at 12.


Then at 1 it is time to board the felucca and start to sail - this is when everything starts to go wrong in my opinion. I obviously expected we would start sailing downstream to make progress towards Luxor - but no we sail upstream doing one circle after the other. And it is hot Aswan is one of the hottest cities in the world in late July the usual daytime high will be above 45 degrees Celsius that's around 110-120 Fahrenheit I think. When the felucca is only moving slowly the temperature onboard starts to sore. There is a small piece of canvas on top of the area of the boat where the passenger's sits this gives you some shade but without wind the temperature under the canvas is even higher than the already extreme 45.


We keep going in circles for an hour or so and the cook starts to make lunch - at 2 he is done and we start to eat. The food is actually really good considering he made it on limited space on a boat - at least he had no problems with the felucca moving it where virtually parked on the middle of the river doing it extremely slow circles. I guessed the reason for the circles was to give the cook who doubles as the man on the wheel some time to prepare lunch - but no. After lunch we went back doing more circles.


Then somebody needed a toilet stop - the skipper parked the felucca at the shore just next to some cliffs. It was in the middle of the sun and the heat from the rocks where intense after we had been there 5 minutes the temperature just skyrocket to an unknown level - it got so hot people started to feel physically bad and got within a short distance of getting heatstroke or something like that. After what seem like eternity we got back out to the Nile - and started doing circles - again.


Finally at 4-4.30 we start to go down the Nile - we are now moving in the right direction. At 5 we pass the spot where we boarded the felucca 4 hours earlier - and I can't help but thinking how much nicer it would have been to spend the day in Aswan instead of wasting the time onboard a hot felucca doing circles all day. We keep going down the river - we are getting closer to Luxor great. It is actually nice on the feluccas when they are sailing at a decent pace instead of the slow circling.


Then we pull over again it is around 6 and we can still see the hotel were I spend last night. Is this another toilet stop - could be we surely will be continuing down the river tonight right. It is a toilet stop - but also the night stop we will spend the night right here 20 minutes by car away from Aswan - it took all day to get here.


We get the diner in little villages where there are some music and dancing old Nubian style. The diner is Nubian dinner as well. It is very different from things up in northern Egypt and it is a really nice night we spend in a house of a Nubian family. After diner it is back to the felucca to go to sleep - I were told to keep all my stuff onboard the felucca because we would be leaving early in the morning the next day - and you would probably be sailing when you woke up around sunrise. So all stuff onboard the felucca. The crew is having a bit of a party in the front but - hey they are probably used to only get a few hours sleep so we will surely leave very early in the morning.

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Nubian village
photo by: aleksandrak