Egypt travel diary/travelogue

Day 6 - Nile Cruise, Edfu, Boat Party!

November 2009

The Nile cruiser
Our Nile 'cruiser'
Getting dunked!
Getting dunked!

I woke up on the boat to the not altogether reassuring sound of mosquitoes buzzing around my head and I quickly hid under my blanket. When I did eventually admit to myself that daylight = get up you lazy git, I found out that I'd missed both breakfast and also the opportunity to wander around some 'fellahin' farmer's fields. That's a lot of Fs, that. Missing brekkie meant missing out on the boiled eggs - an essential ingredient in any Egyptian breakfast. Yesterday's sunning session at the front of the boat had scorched my back red raw, so I had to cover up today. I do occasionally have sense.

River bank dive

Relaxation time again - first we stopped off at a sandy bank to have a swim in the Nile. Despite what I've seen dropped in the river so far, I wasn't put off as the water was very clear at this particular point some distance away from any towns. I took a risk and dived in. And I didn't regret it one bit. I took a few photos with the underwater camera for the record, although Kali did say I should save it for Hurghada and the coral reefs with all the lovely little fishies. An impromptu game of football was called but lasted no longer than a couple of minutes as everyone's feet were getting burnt by the baking sand.

Temple time again

The temple at Edfu
The temple at Edfu

Later we stopped at Edfu to see, you've guessed it, another temple. As we moored I was struck by how untidy the town was. Everywhere in Egypt has places which are like landfill sites, rubbish strewn by the roadside, but this was the messiest yet. As we stepped up the bank I noticed rats running around in amongst the rubbish and the streets were equally untidy. Despite the mess, the temple itself is quite something. The height of the main entrance is very impressive but once inside it's the usual temple set-up. Seen one, seen 'em all, as Mohammed kind of said back at Karnak on Tuesday. After the visit, we chatted with the owner of the cafe who offered me "good price for galabea". So I went for it. It turned into a haggling disaster as everyone was sat in the taxis waiting for me to close the deal while he seemed intent on dragging it out as long as possible. Kali stepped in and tried to sort him out but he wasn't playing ball. In the end I came away with a galabea and two bageshes for 30 LE. Not the greatest bargain in the world but hey, I was under pressure OK?

We got the taxis back to the boat and were inundated with children hopping on to the back asking for "stylos". A travel tip for the future: take a bag of biros with you as they might make all the difference between getting ripped off and getting a bargain or two. Back on the boat and off to Esna, or near Esna, for a bit of a party. All the crew - eight in total - got out of their greasy work clothes and into their 'casual wear' and got their drums out to give us a performance of Arabic/North African music.

A few of the locals turned up on their little boats and camped out on the bank next to where we were moored. I think we were providing them with a bit of entertainment. Either that or they were planning a spot of piracy for later in the evening once we had numbed our brains with more vodka/scotch/stella beer (delete as appropriate).

Having a shisha time

Nicky was in a bad way after the shisha pipes were brought on. Both me and Andy did our hanging from the canopy thing again. Ian C tried feeding Andy a bottle of beer as he hung there. It's not easy trying to drink while hanging upside-down - it all goes up your nose! Once again, Geoff complained about the noise, although we weren't being noisy. He's obviously not happy unless he's unhappy about something, if you know the sort. Oh well, we had a laugh anyway because prior to coming up to have a moan at us Geoff fell out his bunk bed with an almighty crash, grazing his forehead in the process. We should have asked him to keep the noise down ... that would have gone down well, I'm sure!

Another night under the stars until about 4am when I realised I was on the point of falling off my mattress into the Nile. I decided it might be wise to get to the confines of my cabin.