The mornings start was before breakfast, with a trip to the Temple of Horus in Edfu. The temple was almost completely intact and huge. To get into the temple there was a large crowd (even at 7:00am) as all the cruise boats wanted to visit early and then head off. Unfortunately, the Copts had vandalised the inscriptions here as well. Luckily some of the figures were too high for them to get to. The main pylons look to be about 30m high with
massive inscriptions of Horus on the external faces. This is also a WOW site due to its completeness and size. The Sanctuary of Horus (inter sanctum) was intact. I found amazing the vast number of pictures, hieroglyphics and inscriptions. They covered almost very part of the walls, both inside and out.
Then, back to the boat for breakfast and more swimming while we cruised to Ensa and the lock. This was a boat race, with the other cruise ships, as only 2 boats can get through the lock per hour. Our skipper appeared to be in a hurry as we went past about 6 boats. I had a great view with a nice spot in the front of the boat. It was is the shade and I was cooled by the breeze. After a while I took the brave steps of going down the front steps to the wheelhouse.
I met the helmsman and some of the crew. They were just having something to eat and invited me to join them and I shared their food. This was a great memory even if I did not need more to eat. The food was plain - bread, eggs, beans, sausages - and similar to the Egyptian food in the restaurant. The kids were dragged down the front of the boat by Janine for photos, so I grabbed them and took them down to the wheelhouse. There with my new friends they were able to steer the boat and toot the horn. While they were doing this I shared a mug of sweet tea, in a glass.
Upon arriving at Ensa we had a 5 hour wait for the lock. There was time for shopping and catching up on sleep. This was the first time on the boat that we had children on the street next to the boat asking for things like pens, sweets, and shampoo.
The ever present Tourist Police were consistently chasing them away. We walked to the shopping market and brought some more souvenirs for home and some costumes for last night party on the boat. Janine's still into the bartering and I am still some way behind.
Tips for shopping:
1. If offered a bargain on the street, do not go inside the shop. They are good at up selling.
2. Pay with the exact amount of money. Instead of change we will be offered some other item instead. This can start another round of bargaining.
3. If change is required you will have to ask for it and it then appears to take a long time to find the correct amount. It was either in another shop or in a locked draw. However the shopkeepers do stick to a deal so hold firm.
4. Once you have bought something put it in a carry bag or day pack as the sight of a sale encourages other vendors.
Back at the boat for lunch and a sleep as the party would be a late night for the kids. We were up in time for high tea and sat and viewed the goings on in the street from the sun deck. We dressed up as an Egyptian family for dinner and had an Egyptian buffet to eat. After dinner the boat headed for the lock. Going through the lock was an anti climax and really not worth the wait. Then to bed as there was a big day ahead with the long awaited trip to the Valley of the Kings.