Boating with Bob Marley,

Trip Start Mar 23, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Egypt  ,
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We were allowed a sleep in until 7am before having a quick breakfast and being taken to meet our fellucs and their captains. My felluca Captain (the group split up into two) was Cpt Hash (don't know his real name, can't remember at least). I'm not sure if the boat was named but it did have a painting of bob Marley at the front and "No woman no cry" above that. Captain Hash, and from the other felluca, Captain Shaggy and the other helpers were our cooks and cleaners for the next 2 nights. To use the toilet you had to ask the Captain to find shore somewhere along the Nile bank. The felluca relies on its large sail and the local breeze so this can be great fun if the wind dies off and you are stuck in the middle of the Nile needing to go to the toilet. (We were lucky though.) Also when it is going against the current it has to rely on the breeze and cross the Nile from side to side as its makes its way North.

We managed to make it to kom Ombo (Gold Mountain) which has a temple half dedicated to the falcon god Horus and half to the crocodile god Sobek. It was around 6pm when we got there and Captain Hash wasn't very happy about stopping. We could easily see why when we were still a bit away since there were so many cruise ships docked or docking in the area. It seemed to be the busiest temple so far, maybe because it was smaller than some we have seen.

This temple was built by the he Greeks which could be seen from how the top of the columns altered rather than just being of either lotus flowers or papyrus. As the sun set we continued looking around. As well as a mummified crocodile being in part of the temple there were medical depictions carved into the wall of various instruments used etc. It was interesting seeing the difference in the carvings in this Greek built temple compared to others we had seen.

We managed to get through the horde of small children trying to o sell cheap nasty jewellary to our boats. We sailed for a short while before docking to have dinner.

During that afternoon half a watermelon had been cut into cubes and soaked in a bucket of vodka. Ok so maybe the bucket wasn't full of vodka... Fruit punch was mixed up by the time dinner was ready and we were all on one felluca. The punch was nice and sweet until you got to the vodka soaked melon when your eyes bulged out of your head since the vodka was so strong. One of the Irish girls fund God when she tried her melon and it was too strong for Sam who had to spit out her melon.

I had two small glasses of vodka melon and punch then one of just the juice part and called it quits. I think one of the girls had 9 (yes she lived, and without a hangover as well!) We went sailing off after dinner and I didn't notice the boat dock later on since the vodka-melon had helped rock me to sleep.

Recipe:

2 x bottle Vodka (1Ltr bottles 16% alcohol).
1/2 water melon.

Soak the Vodak and Melon in a bucket an hour before serving. Then add:

4Ltr Sprite/ lemonade.
3Ltr Mango juice.
1Ltr soda water.

Don't drink the whole lot alone, make sure you have at least 10 people to serve it too. (my opinion anyway.)


13th April


We all recovered from the punch quick enough to set sail just before 7am. overnight we had lost 2 people who had comatose (fallen asleep) on the other felluca and we also gained one who had lost her sleeping space.

We had breakfast of flat bread, jam, cheese and egg (not all together unless you are Christi!) while on the Nile with the two boats tied together. The wind decided to pick up soon after we finished so the boats were untied and we were off towards Edfu. Our only plan for the day was to relax as we got to a sandy area not far from Edfu temple.

After dinner our Captains and the Captains of the other fellucas docked in the same area made a fire and started singing, dancing, drumming etc. One songs some people may recognise is a children song @She'll be coming round the mountain." If you don't know it the main idea is every verse the woman will be doing something different each times she is "coming round the mountain. eg "She'll be wearing pink pyjamas when she comes." The boat captains favourite verse was "She'll be smoking majawana when she comes" which I think most of them had been doing before they had started singing.


14th April.

I woke up around 6am and it took me a while to realise we had already sailed off and were almost at Edfu. After the usual breakfast we all struggled with our bags off the boats and into a waiting mini-bus.

We walked around the temple, me taking heaps of boring photos, and listened to our guide. The temple had a reconstruction of a small boat used to carry the statue of horus when it left the temple. It was made in the 1800's, I think, commissioned by the man who "found" the temple.

After saying good-bye to Edfu and what I think is the most photographed statue of the Horus falcon (yes I took a picture) we joined the convoy of tourist coaches and tourist police back to Luxor.


We had a free afternoon in Luxor. I found out no matter what country I'm in I spend too much money on books if I find a bookstore. We had a lovely buffet dinner before catching the 9pm night train to Cairo.

We were all in the 2nd class carage, lucking there we no goats. The lights never dimmed and people talked continuously. Every 10 minutes or so a man came in calling out in Arabic "Tea? Tea?" And someone, a local man I think, decided to play with his cell phone ring tone. He didn't keep changing the tone etc but just kept playing it, the same ring, the same volume. I think I managed 2 hours sleep.


15th April.

We all crawled out of the train complaining about the lack of sleep and piled into a mini-bus to the hotel. We had enough time (about 1 1/2 hours I think) to have showers and breakfast. Our larger packs or what we left in the truck, we couldn't actually get to until later that day.


While pretending to be awake we all went to the Cairo Museum. I have never seen a museum with so many people waiting to get in! The museum is a grand looking two level building. In the morning tour companies all seem to have the same idea to send their people there. It was extremely crowded for the 2 hours we had out guided tour. the Museum is wonderful- so much though in such a small space. You don't know if you should be amazed by how they display it all or shocked and disturbed at how small the area is compared to the large collection (and not all of it on display either.)

It was an amazing experience to finnaly see things I have read about, and sometimes studied about. To see the detail in some of the sculptures that just isn't shown in books or the difference in size from what you imagined things to be both larger and smaller.)

I stayed for another couple of hours after the tour ended with one of the girls (thanks Andria!) before going back to the hotel. Most of the others had gone on after the guided tour to a famous Cairo market (Kalil Kalele I think its called, can't spell it though)

Andria and I headed off for a late lunch to the near-by KFC. I don't normally like KFC at home since it is usually dry or fatty and the service is always bad. Cairo could teach NZ KFC's a lot and the restaurant is run by hearing impeared and deaf locals. At the counter there were lists you point to for what you want. the till is easy to read for the final cost and all the staff seemed happy and friendly. Also the food was great.

That night the group went out for a final dinner (including the 2 new people who joined that day who were joining the 4 from our group continuing on to Jordan and Syria). It was Jess' Birthday that day (the poor thing had to put up with me as her room mate the whole time since the original 3 met the rest in Cairo.) We all went to a Karioke restaurant/bar for dinner (even though we went to the wrong bar at first due to the hotel staff writing the wrong address down in Arabic for the taxi drivers.) My stir-fry was great and so was my watermelon and vodka drink (premixed this time not with lumps of melon.) the service was great and so was the company. With my 2 hours of sleep the night before on the train I managed to stay there until midnight before leaving for the hotel.


16th April.

In the morning most of us staying in Cairo (who hadn't already left) went to say goodbye to those heading off to Mt Sinai and the rest of their tour. I decided to fall over on some uneven road and twist my ankle. (I must have been aiming to be dramatic or something.) I managed to hobble to the truck to say goodbye and then hobble back tot he hotel.

I put my leg up for a while before bandaging it (and putting a plaster on my other knee) and going off to the markets that the others had been to the day before. My ankle seemed to get better as I slowly walked around for the couple of hours we were there (thanks again Andria for the company!) It did hurt after i rested it when we got back to the hotel again, and it hated me on the walk to and from dinner.

Yummy fish kebab, that made the pain worth it.


17th & 18th April.

I followed Andria to Cairo Aiport ( I didn't want to be flirted with any more so went with her) I had an extra 2 hour wait before checking in for my flight (then a further wait before my flight.) I even managed to find a couple from Rotorua at the airport cafe, they were also pleased to be leaving Egypt after travelling around there by themselves.
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