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Published: February 4th 2010
Day 61: Tuesday, January 26, 2010.
Aswan, Egypt to Edfu, Egyp
via Nile cruise.
Per the Contiki Egypt brochure: "This morning, why not join our fantastic excursion to Abu Simbel- the most complete example of ancient Egyptian architecture. Built by Pharaoh Ramses II more than 3,000 years ago, the temples were moved over a period of years to their new site safely above the waters of Lake Nasser. After lunch, we cruise to Kom Ombo to view this unique temple, shared by two Gods. We reach Edfu, where we spend the night on-board."
Per my stomach: You really ate/drank something you shouldn't have. I must have picked up the travel bug (though I've been following the rules for eating/drinking in Egypt). There are a couple of others that are not doing so hot so it's nice not to be alone in the misery. It doesn't help any that we leave for Abu Simbel
at 6:45 am (though I was also briefly woken up by the call to Mosque at 5 am this morning). Needless to say, I skip breakfast. We are taking a plane to get there and it's like going to the airport back in the good ol' days. Sherif
hands us tickets, it doesn't even matter if we have ones with our names on it, we walk into the airport, go thru a metal detector and then get on the plane. Once at the airport, it takes us about 10 minutes to get to our seats, nice and easy. As far as the metal detector's, what a waste of time. EVERYWHERE we go here we pass thru metal detectors, and they go off for 90% of us and we're all waved thru. Now and then a guy will get pulled aside and have a frisky pat down, but that's rare. So, we've decided that what they're looking for is for the detectors to be silent- that must mean something is wrong.
The plane ride isn't that long, about 30 minutes. Sherif was once again an awesome guy and told us to snag seats on the left side of the plane (no assigned seating) because right before we landed we should be able to see Abu Simbel from the air. So, we were all clicking away on our cameras at the last minute, trying to get the ultimate shot. We land, hop on a bus, and within 10 minutes
we're at the temple. They had to move the temple up the hill because when they built the dam for the Nile, it spread further than they thought and flooded the temple. So, to save it, they had to move it. It was well done, and you can't tell that the temple hasn't been sitting there for thousands of years. Sherif gives us a brief summary of the temple, and unfortunately i don't remember it because I kept nodding off. The "bug" was really taking a toll on me and I was exhausted. I shuffled thru the temples (one for Ramesses II and one for his wife, Nefertari), but I can't say I appreciated it 100%. In fact, I don't have a lot of memories of the place, I was in a haze.
We hop back on the bus and onto the plane and I settle into a seat and Sherif sits next to me. I mention I don't feel well, and that's all I remember until we're about to land and they wake me up to ask me to open the shutter on my window (had closed it so I could lean against the window w/o the sun
blaring on me.) Not sure why it had to be open to land, that's a new one. I was out of it so much that I hadn't even noticed that Sherif had been kind enough to snag me an apple juice and had put it on my lap.
We get back to the boat and we head down to lunch and I chance eating some bland things and not much of that. Then, we all go up to the sun deck as the boat has left the dock and is sailing to Edfu. We all just lounge around, and that I can handle. I head down for a nap because in a few hours we dock at Kom Ombo
where we disembark to see the temple.
Unfortunately I was still in a daze, so I don't remember much about this temple other than it's referred to as the "Crocodile Temple" because it depicts the half human/half crocodile God, Sobek
. I follow along as Sherif gives what I'm sure was a good tour, snap some pictures (it was around sunset- I remember that being beautiful as well), then high tail it back to the boat. When we're all back on
board, our boat takes off for Edfu and I take a nap before dinner. All the naps helped because I was feeling better for dinner and actually ate. It's a good thing I was feeling better because tonight was the "dress up" party night.
I go back to my room to get ready and have a moment of confusion and a little bit of fear when I open my room and see that the cabin attendant has been in and left a "towel animal" on my bed. A "towel animal" is when they do origami with your bath towels and make a swan or a monkey, etc. The swan was there and was fine, but the fear part was that my towel monkey had no head- a little unsettling. I felt like I should open a cupboard and I'd see all the soup can labels facing one direction (anyone follow me on that one?)
I had bought a head scarf from the boat gift shop (where they didn't hassle me that much) and was ready to wear that, a dress I had brought, and the sandals I had picked up in Aswan. Now for the fun part of
the dressing up- the make up! I love having an excuse to wear heavy eyeliner. I head out to the lobby around 9:10 pm thinking I'd be the last one out there, nope, I was one of the first. We're waiting for the guys' grand entrance and after a few more people show up, we decide to head to the bar without them. About 40 minutes later, most of us are there except for this one gang of guys who were going to be our entertainment. They finally showed up and it's better than we had dreamed. Not only were they wearing belly dancer "bras" and sheer skirts that only had material on the front and back, but Jimmy(Australia) really committed and had on nothing else so you saw A LOT of skin on that man. The guys do some shimmies and take a million photos for not only us, but the other tour group that is there (a German group where everyone seemed to be 50+) as well as the staff of the boat. Then Sherif holds a belly dance competition that three of the guys participate in. Each one had their strengths, but when Jimmy got down on
Me and the drag boys.
Yes, it annoys me too that his face is blocked, but I promised I'd do it.
the ground, grabbed his ankles and did backward somersaults, he was the winner in my book... though the nightmares are still haunting us all (especially since I got it all on video.) We do a traditional group dance with the bar staff and some other dance games led by Sherif. Then, folks started wandering off to either get out of their g-strings or to take advantage of the liquor they brought on board, and a few of us sit in the bar laughing at the night. At this point, the other tour group has had enough of us youngin's and they are hanging out in the lobby and giving us the bar. One of their members, about 65 I'd guess and looked like Santa, wandered in and asked if he could sit and drink with our group. At least, I think that's what he said, we couldn't understand him, just his hand gestures. He gets a couple of pictures taken with some of the girls and then decides that I need to dance. So, we do a swing/jive to a bandstand song that they are playing (the one that has a mix of a bunch of songs including "Twist Again")
and he talks German to me the whole time. Oh well, he was good at twirling me so I had fun. I thank him for the dance, sit for about 10 more minutes and decide I have had enough of the party life and head to my room around 11:30 pm. The next morning, I find out that almost everybody else was up until about 2:30 am- more power to them.
Tot: 2.543s; Tpl: 0.063s; cc: 17; qc: 80; dbt: 0.0622s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb