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Published: March 5th 2020
Every time I think I’ve had the best day yet in Egypt, another amazing day happens. I would like to mention one thing. Before I came here several people expressed concern that it is not safe here. I have felt very safe. Our guide Khaled watches out for us and makes sure we know the right things to do. Egyptian people are really nice. We have had some drivers that speak little English, but we’ve been able to communicate. I sit near the front of the bus, and Lisa (Australia) and I wave at lots of people and they smile and wave back, give us the thumbs up, etc. I even spent time in the market haggling over prices for items, and I never felt threatened.
Today I started out by visiting the Coptic Church in Aswan. It’s a big church and very nice. Then we checked out of the Nile Hotel (where I had a great view of the Nile from my room) and we walked to the dock for our journey north on the Nile. Our group was split in 2 Feluccas, and we started sailing about 11 a.m.
: فلوكة, romanized
falawaka, possibly originally from Greek ἐφόλκιον
) is a traditional wooden sailing boat
used in the eastern Mediterranean
—including around Malta
(particularly along the Nile
and in protected waters of the Red Sea
), and also in Iraq
. Its rig
consists of one or two lateen sails
The Felucca has a big pad that we sit on, and some pillows, and a canopy. We had a good breeze and our 2 Feluccas and our support boat traveled north. We went by temples, mosques, saw lots of other Feluccas, cruise boats, fishermen, and water taxis. Khaled stayed on our boat for part of the day and then switched to the other boat.
We stopped for lunch on the support boat on the bank of the Nile. The support boat also has the toilet. A guy came by to sell stuff, and we saw some local guys getting water from the Nile. Unfortunately the Nile is polluted with diesel, trash, and whatever else goes into this river so I decided to skip swimming.
After lunch I asked if I could steer the boat. It was pretty easy, just had to find the sweet
spot to get the maximum speed. The rudder is quite big, and the sails too. We watched a boat go under the bridge by moving the sail support down sideways (see photo). Sailing on a Felucca is really relaxing.
In the afternoon the wind died and one of the crew used the gangplank to row, then we roped up with the support boat to get to our evening spot. We had a great dinner, followed by a birthday party for Marcella (Columbia, she turned 26). It was pretty clever how Khaled got the cake. He ordered it the day before and arranged for a driver to bring it to the dock we were staying the night at, and then the crew got it from the driver. Beautiful cake: half chocolate, half vanilla with fruit and chocolate on top.
The crew (we had 2 Mustaffahs and a 3rd
whose name I can’t remember) gave us each a sheet and a blanket and we spread out for the evening. They had wrapped the outside portion with a heavy fabric to keep out mosquitos and keep us warmer. It did get cold during the night and I was thinking I needed
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