Published: March 27th 2007March 27th 2007
woke up early in the morning to catch the 8am train to High Dam station to catch the ferry to Wadi Halfa.. pretty nice walk to the train station in the morning hours.. no tourists.. no touts.. just people going about their daily morning business.. nice.. bought some water. .bought smoe fruits and bread.. and headed to the station..
The train ride to High Dam station costs 1LE.. buy your tickets on the train itself.. the train wasn't too late.. supposed to arrive at 8.. arrived 820am.. so it's good.. riding with the locals is fun.. and it's really nice to see that people really fight to give up their seats for ladies and elderlies.. cool.. they announce train arrivals over the PA system.. in Arabic of cos.. so make sure you find a 'friend' at the station who can tell you if this train is the train..
The ferry terminal is just right beside the High Dam station.. you won't miss it.. met a belgium guy while walking towards the terminal.. we were stopped by the guards at the gate.. it's not boarding time yet he said.. so we sat down.. right in front of the gate
Leaving my room in Aswan
15LE room in Nubian Oasis.. not bad.. central location...
on the side.. so that i can rush in when it's boarding time.. (2nd class must fight for seats!!) haha..
It's boarding time! and the guards allowed us foreigners to go in first.. nice.. the immigration procedures is a tad complicated.. first you have to buy this exit stamp that they paste on the departure card that you have to fill in first.. you buy this stamp at a window.. and i mean window.. cos the man selling it is sitting on a chair outside the immigration lobby building.. stamp costs 2LE.. then you have to go to the immigration counter to have your passport stamped (stamped as in ink stamped in the passport) for exit.. to make sure you did not overstay etc.. then you have to exit the lobby.. and at the exit stands a guard that checks your passport and departure card, to make sure you have both the ink stamp and the paper stamp.. then he collects the departure card and you can go.. doh.. can't all these be done in one counter?? very very specialized i must say..
got out of the building.. walked to the wharfs.. many ships berthed.. which one is
Waiting for my train..
Scene from Aswan Train station
it?? all look the same.. all look like cargo ships.. hha.. oh, the terminal is mainly for cargo i think.. asked around.. and got ushered into one of the ships.. woohoo! I am the first passenger on the ferry MWAHAHAHAH!!
checked out the seats in 2nd class.. long benches.. all abut the same.. chose one seat that gave me good vibes.. secureed my bags and decided to check out the 1st class cabins.. the cabins are small.. rickety.. old.. checkered sheets.. a double-deckered bed space.. that's what you get..
went back down to my seat.. and watch people filtering in.. 10am.. 11am.. people still coming in.. most of them avoided me.. hehe.. 1pm.. people still streaming in.. ooh.. isn't the ferry supposed to leave at 12noon? doesn't look like i can get an entire bench to myself to sleep ..haha.. oh, and these people.. they bring TONS
of luggage with them.. many of them look like they're bringing in supplies and merchandise from Egypt.. 2pm.. still more people.. i'm sharing my bench with somebody.. doesnt look like ferry leaving soon.. went to the canteen to get my meal.. wah.. taste quite good.. they have this red orangish potato kuah
thing that taste just like the indonesian yellow colour potato and carrot soup.. i like.. after meal.. 330pm.. wah.. not leaving yet.. so i slept on my section of the bench.. woke up at 530pm.. and the ferry started leaving the High Dam port.. Onwards to Sudan!!
The ferry ride was ok.. and people around me started coming over to have a chat with this foreigner in second class.. there was family from trinidad immigrating to sudan sitting behind me.. his 2 little boys re so well behaved!! i've learnt more arabic in this night on the ferry than my entire week in Egypt.. just by talking and "playing charades" with them.. haha..
930pm.. they satrted preparing to go to sleep.. and so why not.. went to sleep as well.. they took turns to pray before gong to bed.. and when they go to bed.. they also sleep everywhere.. on the floor.. at any avaiable space.. i'm luckyu i still have half a bench =)
woke up at about 415am the next day.. slept eaerly.. so wake up early.. decided to go for sunrise on the Nile.. 430am, the PA system blasted prayers.. woke the entire ship
The morning waters of Lake Nasser / Nile
up.. and people all woke up and prayed.. wah.. then some of them went back to sleep.. i went to the deck for sunrise with my camera.. wah.. the entire deck is either crammed with cargo.. or people sleeping on the floore.. haha.. found a good spot and waited for sun rise.. Took some pretty decent photos..
Hung out at the deck pretty much from then on.. felt secured with my baggaged locked and everyuthing in 2nd class.. the people are friendly.. some bought me tea.. we chatted.. then one of them asked me if i've given my passport to the office here.. oh, they process the immigration stuff on board! after much asking around.. i found the office.. which is a cabin where the officers are, and you submit your passport thru the porthole/window.. you have to fill in the arrival form.. and they said, ok.. leave your passport here and come back later.. fear.. wah.. passport leh.. leave with you .. then you lose how? haha.. what to do..
11am or so.. the ferry passed by Abu Simbel.. where i was the day before.. not bad.. seeing the great temple from the lake nasser.. but.. wow!
the ferry took close to 18hrs to cover the distance i covered on land in 3.5hrs.. slow man..
130pm on the 2nd day.. we arrived at Wadi Halfa.. but we all can't get out becos we dun have our passports.. the immigration officers started shouting names in the cabin.. i heard "Indonesia!" and i went up to the office. . asked the usually questoins like why you come sudan etc.. after some time, ok, yay.. u get a yellow slip that allowsd you to get out of the ferry... but no passport yet.. you get that at the arrival hall at the ferry terminal.. so packed my bags.. and waited at arrival hall..
And so.. the Phoea has set foot on Sudan.. i think travelling 2nd class on this ferry is the way to go.. you get to interact so much with the Sudanese going home and the Egyptians going over.. you get a good glimpse of how they are like as a people.. 1st class you get a cabin, but the belgium guy told me he has 2 guys cramming on the floor of the cabin anyways.. Go 2nd class if you want a closer experience.. the
Hello Mr Sun
Amun-Ra starting to ride his chariot across the sky
best spot to camp (which i realize later) is under the life board.. the entire area to yourself.. nice..
There are more photos below