Day 32 - Simply Cruising the Nile

Aswan Travel Blog

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Time for a swim in the Nile

We awoke on the second morning of our Felucca trip with the boat still moored.  Perhaps the captain was affording himself a bit of a sleep in today? Last night was quite a late one and we had certainly made good progress to date. We didn’t get underway until after breakfast.  The weather was again fine and there was enough breeze to keep the boat moving and to keep us cool.  We’d been on the boat for two whole days now and none of us had been for a swim.  So at around midday, the captain aimed our boat at a sandy bank, which he said was likely to be the last for our trip and pulled over, insisting that we get our for a paddle.  I obliged and eventually Michelle and Zoe did too.  For a river running between the middle of two deserts, the water was surprisingly cold but when its 40 degrees in the sun, that’s not a huge problem.

The kids I didn't scare to death with my camera

If we had any doubt that we were travelling though a 3rd world country and in an area not frequented by Europeans, it was erased when we saw the crowd we had drawn.  While the three of us splashed around in the Nile a load of young children had assembled on the bank and were quietly watching us.  Since I’m used to my pale complexion being a source of mirth, rather than fascination, it was a little weird but I decided to break the ice by bringing out the remainder of the Turkish delight and offering it to the kids.  It took some persuasion from Mahmoud (in Arabic) to convince the kids to partake and when they did, they slyly retreated to their spots in the shade but they got a laugh out of it and seemed to enjoy the treat.

Michelle, the champ who brought us some ice for my beer and Zoe.

The captains son prepared us lunch and we went for one last swim before casting off for the afternoon, making our way towards our final destination, Edfu.  Since the progress of feluccas is entirely a function of the breeze and we’d had plenty of it in the last three days, we found ourselves just short of Edfu before sun set. However, we were also short on Gas (for the gas stove) and ice (for my beers).  So, we pulled up to the bank alongside a small town.  There we were greated by even greater hoards of children.  Most of these children knew a few phrases in English though and they were far less shy than the farm kids we’d met at lunch.  The captains son went in search of a gas bottle and ice and while he was away, Michelle started practicing her Arabic with the kids.  Reading from the cheat sheet we’d been given upon arrival in Egypt and following further prompts from Mahmoud, she was able to amuse the children and the rest of us with simple, broken conversation.  Reminding myself that I needed to capture a few of these moments for prosperity, I pulled the camera from my bag, switched it on and pointed it at the kids.  Wow, you should have seen them move.  One might have thought I was waving a gun at them.  All but a handful of them took off up the bank, screaming (in what I hope was glee), hands waving above their heads.  They soon returned though and I was able to convince a number of them to give us a wave. 

The search for a gas bottle was fruitless but we did find out where we could find one further downstream.  We did however manage to get a bit of ice.  A young boy had managed to fetch some and when he brought it to the boat Mahmoud encouraged him to jump aboard and pose for a photo with the girls as a reward for his efforts.  He was stoked and the girls seemed happy that their presence could derive something other than crude comments and cat calls from Egyptian males, even it was only young kids!

We didn’t need to sail much further downstream until the captain found a familiar felucca and pulled alongside.  The captain of that boat invited us to use the toilet facilities at his house and threw a Bob Marley cassette into the deck.  Again, the evening was spent chatting, eating, drinking and relaxing. I knew we were going to miss this felucca when we left it but by now we were all starting to hang out for a shower!!
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Time for a swim in the Nile
Time for a swim in the Nile
The kids I didnt scare to death w…
The kids I didn't scare to death …
Michelle, the champ who brought us…
Michelle, the champ who brought u…
photo by: Vikram