Exploring the Nile and Aswan
Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
61Trip End Jan 10, 2008
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I spent some time rearranging the itinerary to try and fit as much in as possible before January 10, the day I fly to London. So it looked like I only really had one full day in Aswan to try to see all there is to see. There were also 3 other guys at the hotel who had the same plan as me so we thought we would check out the sights together.
First stop was trying to find the ferry to cross over to Elephantine Island, where there were a few sights to see as well as a couple Nubian villages to explore. Trying to actually find the official ferry was much harder than it should have been much thanks to many felucca owners lying to you about the ferry to try and get you to pay them to take us all across.
Anyway in the end we got across OK to Elephantine Island
So after an hour of non-interesting wandering around these sights were once again tried to find the ferry, this time to cross to the west bank of the Nile. On our way we got ourselves (deliberately) lost in the Nubian Villages which was great fun as the winding warren of streets was extremely colourful and all the villagers were very friendly. It was also interesting to be in an actual Nubian village and see people go about their everyday life.
It ended up that there was no ferry to the west bank from Elephantine Island (thanks for the misleading information again Lonely Planet), so we had to negotiable to get a boat across there. Unfortunately the only boat we could find was some guys small row boat, and unfortunately about 4 locals wanted to cross as well
The west bank of the Nile didn't really contain too many sights to see, and by that time we were more concerned about making it somewhere for some food than seeing the actual sights. So no sooner than we arrived we found a ferry back to the east bank. They tried charging us 5 pounds ($1) for the government run ferry, when the actual price is 50 piestres (10c), needless to say we were a bit annoyed and of course the American in the group, Gary, started calling them all sorts of names (and rightfully so) which I'm sure they didn't understand. Anyway we got the fare for 1 pound in the end but all of this being lied to and trying to be ripped off all the time was really starting to wear thin and getting to me. Back on the west bank we enjoyed some cheap falafel (again!) for dinner.
Later that afternoon we all decided we wanted to take a sunset felucca rise on the Nile, something that is regarded a "must do" while in Egypt
That night we spent exploring the "souq" looking for bargains, but the souq was more like a truckload of tacky tourist shops. I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity and try to purchase myself the absolute tackiest tourist t-shirt as well as the most awful hat I could find. I was visiting Abu Simbel tomorrow, which no doubt would be packed with tourists, so I wanted to look the most touristy out of all the tourists. It didn't take long to find a tacky t-shirt; two camels looking stoned smoking a sheesha in front of the Pyramids, and I got it for 15 pounds quite easily ($3). Next stop was finding a tacky hat to wear. I found a fluro yellow one saying "I love Egypt", fantastic, but I couldn't get it for the price I was after so I had to give it a miss. I later realised the t-shirt I bought was a small (when I asked for a medium) and it wouldn't even fit over my head so I had to give the "dressing like a tourist" gig for tomorrow a miss, much to my disappointment.
So tomorrow we have to be up at 3am as we are going out to the Abu Simbel temple, which is near the Sudan border, for sunrise. The hostel owner told us off for coming back at 11pm when we had to be up so early in the morning, it felt like being told off by your dad for being out too late!