Aswan, Abu Simbel And A Felucca Down The Nile.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Egypt  , Nile River Valley,
Monday, October 27, 2008

After a long, long train journey of 18 hours, which threw out our schedule of sight seeing, we finally arrived at our hotel for the night and following very quick showers we all met downstairs to go off to a restaurant for a combined lunch and dinner. It was a beautiful meal of Egyptian food on a floating restaurant on the Nile. The long hours on the train were quickly forgotten - well until Hany our guide advised that those who had taken up the option to go to the Abu Simbel Temples would be getting a wake up call at 3.30AM!!! Given that was us, it was off to bed in anticipation.

Abu Simbel is right up near the Sudan border and we chose to visit it as an extra as the whole temple complex of Ramses II which he had carved out of a mountainside, was moved in the 1960's to protect it from being flooded by Lake Nasser when the Aswan High Dam was created. This was a massive operation requiring worldwide assistance. Five very sleepy Busabout people checked into the Aswan airport and went through countless security checks before boarding our "Memphis Air" plane to Abu Simbel. It is rather interesting, that whilst all these serious security checks are in place, we were given fictitious names on our boarding passes and when queried were told it didn't matter!

Ramses II really ordered up a treat when he had these temples built. They are covered inside with amazing art work that is still full of colour and the statues out the front are stunning in size and detail. He had around 70 wives and 200 children but he built a separate temple for his favourite wife Nefertari.

Back in Aswan we found that most of our other trip mates had come down with belly ache and were struggling. So far so good for us and we continued on with a tour of the Aswan High Dam, Philae Temple (on an island) and a quarry where they cut out amazingly big obelisks.

Sickness or not it was time to for our Felucca trip, except for Five of our trip mates who had upgraded to a cruise boat. The rest of us boarded and after a delicious lunch of dips and Egyptian bread, we set sail zigzagging across the Nile. The Felucca is a simple sail boat with no motor (and unfortunately no toilet - more about that later) and a flat padded base where everybody sits, sleeps, eats and plays cards or whatever.

It was a fabulous experience initially then at 5am the next morning Heather came down with the dreaded belly and Avan came down pretty simultaneously with a head cold. Fortunately for me the wind was up which meant that the days sailing was delayed and I had many trips down the gang plank, toilet paper in hand, heading for the bushes. I was not alone - most of the boat were suffering.  Despite being unwell though there were fun times. Card games were played and we taught our guide Hany some "Australian isms". On the last night a bonfire and party was held on the beach. It was great to sail the Nile the authentic way.

Entry Fees : Abu Simbel (both Temples) 70 L.E
                   The Unfinished Obelisk       25 L.E
                   Philae Temple                    40 L.E 

Footnote: The Nubian Monuments From Abu Simbel To Philae are UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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