07 August 2006

Nile River Cruise

We are in the middle of our Nile River Cruise, which is why I haven't been able to get to the internet as often. After leaving Cairo, we headed on a 14 hour overnight train ride to Aswan in southern Egypt. I thought it was going to be bad, but surprisingly I slept most of the way. We even got breakfast and tea in the morning. The only bad part was the bathroom, which was BAD.... no toilet paper, no water, and they ask you not to flush while in the station because it just gets dumped onto the track.

Anyway, we arrived in Aswan, where the temperature was a mild 140 degrees (it's not as bad because it's a dry heat). I heard NYC was experiencing a heat wave, but I think we win over here in Egypt. Dehydration is a big worry for tourists, and we are told to drink at least 4 large water bottles a day. My tour guide told me I was a little dehydraded and I had to add rehydration salts to my water, which help you absorb the water more quickly.

We quickly joined our cruise ship which is home for the next 4 days. The boat itself is really nice, we have a private cabin with en suite bathrooms, a small plunge pool, a dance floor, and a bar and gift shop.

The night we got on the ship, we took a Felluca Cruise, which is the traditional sailboat of Egypt, you can keep cool because you're right on the water. We also went to the sound and light show at Philae Temple, which is on a small island you have to take a motor boat on. One of the local guide's daughter's was getting married and we were also invited to an authentic Nubian Wedding!! It was amazing since I don't think many Westerners get to witness such an event.

The next morning, we woke up early (3:30AM) to head to one of the most famous sights in Egypt: Abu Simbel. It is only about 20 miles from the Sudan border, and it's a 3 hour drive south from Aswan. Because of a history of violence problems, we have to catch a "convoy" to get there. This means that there is a trail of about 20 buses, with a police car in the front and a police car in the back, and in each bus an armed guard. The buses speed along to avoid trouble. Although this is a safety precaution, I kinda felt like because of all the trouble it actually made us targets. Anyway, it was all worth it after we saw the gorgeous temples at Abu Simbel.

We got back to the boat and set sail for another temple at Kom Ombo (like Columbo). This was also a really great temple which is set right on the Nile. In fact, we saw it from the ship before we got off. There was also a small "Nubian House" there in which you could see how Egyptians used to live. There were baby camels there which we got to feed too!!

Another day of sailing, and we have arrived in the city of Luxor. This is the ancient capital of Egypt formally known as Thebes. We stay here 2 nights and explor Luxor's many sights before catching another overnight train (9 hours) to Cairo.

My trip has taken a bit of a detour and as always I'm looking for suggestions....I'm bouncing aroudn Turkey and maybe Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania. Please e-mail me suggestions at:
Jonathan.A.Espiritu@gmail.com

4 comments:

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sarah said...

Hey Kidd-o! Sounds like you're having a fabulous trip - wish I were there with you!! I forwarded your blog to my sister - she did a whole backpack thing around the Mediterranean and middle east. She might have some suggestions for you. {Sorry - I deleted the earlier version because I didn't know how to spell Mediterranean and didn't want to look a fool}.

Charlene said...

Rehydration salts...roofies...same thing.

Why don't you go to Dubai?? That's where all the stars go...myself included. Don't forget the little people while you're over there and bring me back a nice rich oil sheikh. I don't care if he's got 500 wives, so long as he likes my rehydration salts and trusts me w/ his billions.

Jillian Mae said...

Now I wanna go to Egypt! So far your trip sounds amazing, minus the part about the nasty bathroom on the 14-hour train ride. Hopefully you were armed with some antibacterial gels and wipes. If not, ewwwww. Haha. Mag-ingat ka!