Monday, October 18, 2004

Aswan Day 3: October 16th Breakfast at the hotel, Felucca ride on the Nile, then board our cruise ship – Melody

Our group got up early today to take a water taxi to the other side of the Nile to ride camels to a Nubian Village to look at a temple. David and I decided against the camel ride so that we could enjoy another Felucca ride on the Nile alone.

We ate a small breakfast at the hotel and then walked 2 blocks to the Nile where we were able to negotiate an hour long Felucca ride for 50 Egyptian pounds. We had a very large Felucca all to ourselves that was much larger than the one the group was on the other day.

We sailed back and forth on the Nile. Part way through our cruise, the younger of people brought out a bag of jewelry for sale. David spotted a beautiful hematite bracelet to replace the one that I had lost last spring. I found a beaded necklace that was purple, blue, and green. The boy also gave David and me a scented necklace – we know David’s sister Stephanie would just love.

After an hour of sailing we returned to shore but at a different location so we took a taxi back to the hotel for 5 Egyptian pounds. David and I packed our bags before we left for our Felucca ride so we only had to go back to our rooms to check out of our rooms.

We met the group at 11:30 am in the hotel lobby and we boarded vans to take us to our ship – the Melodie. Fortunately, for us – Amy, or Antique Amy – has finally been retired and the tour company purchased a new boat. We’ve been upgraded!!! J Melodie is a smaller cruise ship than what we have seen in Aswan. She has 42 cabins. When David and I boarded the ship and we were assigned our room, we were surprised to find another couple already unpacked in our room. We guess they didn’t like the room they were assigned so they took ours since the door was open. So the people at the reception desk found a new room for us. We unpacked and then asked the porters to put the two single beds together – and they surprised us by asking us if we would like to move to a room with a Queen Size bed? YES!! So we went back to the room again and repacked to move to the next room.

Our room has a Queen size bed, mirror and little shelf/narrow desk to put our stuff on, many hocks everywhere, closet, and small bathroom with shower. The other rooms with twin beds have overhead shelves which we do not have. Instead we have room under the bed to store our stuff.

After getting settled in our new room, we had lunch with the group on the ship. The rest of the afternoon we enjoyed our time by sitting in the pool. The pool is twice the size of David’s hot tub which is a good size to allow about 12 people to sit in it. The size makes it a little difficult to swim in. The water is initially ice cold but the sun warms it very quickly.

Some time in the afternoon we pulled ashore to look at our first Temple along the Nile. This temple is called Kom Ombol (sp?). We arrived at the temple at 5 pm and our tour guide gave us a short description of the Temple. Then we went on land to investigate the Temple. We were so lucky that we decided to see the temple as soon as possible because we timed the sun set perfectly, which made the hieroglyphs more beautiful to look at. This temple is dedicated to two gods: crocodiles and Horus. The people who built this temple made sure that the two gods were equally pleased by making sure that the two sides of the temple was a mirror image. There were many hieroglyphs that we had not seen before like an Ankh with arms holding hooks and a woman wearing a flower patterned dress. There was also a smaller temple off to the side with two mummified crocodiles that were 2500 years old. This temple also had a crocodile pond (empty and dry) and a Milometer.

The sun was setting and we were getting thirsty so we made our way back to the boat. Unknown to us, they moved our boat so that larger boats could moored onto each other.
At one point, David and I counted 9 lined up side by side. These boats docked here so that that the tourists could visit the Temple for a few hours. Melodie was one of a few boats that were staying there for the evening. It was amazing to see all 9 boats leave the port in unison to sail to Aswan, the direction we had just come from.

I was really tired and wanted to work on our journal so I decided to lay low while David went out with some of the group to have a SheShaw (smoking pipe) at a Nubian camp. He said that he was enjoying the Sheshaw by sharing it with 4 other women from our group ;0)

Tomorrow we continue to sail on the Melodie and we stop to see the Temple.

Cheers,
Veronica & David

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