Dam it! -we need the water.
Aswan Travel Blog› entry 4 of 23 › view all entries
I jumped a bus from Luxor to Aswan early the next day. It was an interesting experience trying to find the right bus but all good and thinking back to my last experience of public transport in Africa (Morocco in '92) I was pleased to enjoy a compfy seat!
It was as we were making our way South that I discovered there was really only one road rule in this country. It was one I'd seen on a sign near a blind corner, but it seemed to be expected everywhere, "Horn Loudly".
As we rocketed along the dusty highway if ever another vehicle came into view there would raise a communication of loud horning between the two drivers.
The odd thing about driving in Egypt (in my humble) is the idea that it's impolite to shine lights into the eyes of on-coming commuters. During my first night drive, when I discovered this, I was a little uneasy as we approached an opposing car and both drivers turned off the headlights until we'd passed each other. I must say though that in the whole two weeks I was there I only saw two crashes. One between a donkey cart and a car near Cairo, and the first, the very morning of this trip to Aswan, when a car traveling along the road in front of our bus suddenly made a right turn and crashed off the highway into the ditch. I hate to say it but that's probably a better road safety record than NZ.
Aswan was cool. No, I mean it, after Luxor it was COOL! I lazed about the place for a few days.
As we sat and chatted I learned all about the country from the saleskid. He was a few years younger than I but was smart enough to be able to answer all my questions about life here.
After I'd finished my Lemone I asked him where I could get some clothes. I told him I wasn't interested in Tourist garb but wanted good quality kit, as worn by the locals.
He took me to the local tailor and I was measured up for a few shirts and pants as desired.
I also hit the trail to Abu Simbel from Aswan. My hotel helped out with the booking and we had to get up early to beat the sun as the trip is out through the desert and takes half a day return.
The bus was quiet as we all sat in pre-dawn slumber. I guess there was not much to say until the sun rose to an awesome dawn sky. One thing about all the sand in a desert is that both the sunsets and the sunrises are incredible as the light is diffused through all those flying particles.
Speaking of incredible, the sunrise was naturally great but the temples of Abu Simbel were man-made great!
This was really the first Egyptian place I had visited and what a way to start! The ancient statues and carvings were amazing but the whole idea of the Americans cutting up the wountain and shifting it up out of the way of the rising waters created behind the Aswan Dam blew my mind!
One of the main features of this location is the Sun Temple constructed by order of Ramses II.
Obviously when the mountain was moved the alighnment changed. The shrine is now lit up a day later.
A short walk away is Queen Nefertari's temple. Not quite so imposing, but equally impressive.
Whilst wandering about the area (which we didn't really have sufficient time to do before we had to return to the bus) I met a couple from Wellington. It was a nice reminder of home but it always makes me laugh when you go all the way around the other side of the globe and meet someone from home.
By the time we got back in the bus everyone was wide awake and chatting to each other. The water in my bottle was actually hot by this time and although I continued to sup from it, I didn't feel that I was as refreshed as I wished to be. When we got back to Aswan I found a cold glass of the stuff and had a little "siesta" in the air conditioned luxury of my hotel room until it cooled in late afternoon.