Thursday 10 January 2008
And so we’re leaving Egypt. We see Death on the Nile in the bus from Luxor to Hurghada. Those who aren’t sleeping, that is. We’ve had yet another early morning; up at 0545. Of course!
Haven’t seen this film in years. It seems an appropriate ending to our fantastic trip. We recognise tons of places we have visited: Karnak, the Nile ship, the Old Cataract – and of course, the mighty Nile herself! Then I fall asleep as well. But that’s OK. I know Mia Farrow and Simon MacCorkindale are the culprits.
At a convoy stop, I snap a photo of Cat with a Bedouin boy and his baby camel. I hand the boy a 5-pound-note which he promptly stuffs in his pocket with not so much as another look in my direction. At first, I’m a bit miffed. What? No “thank you”? No smile or any token of gratitude?
Then, after thinking about it, I realise I’m the lucky one and the one who should be saying thanks. After all, I don’t have to hang around convoy stops with my camel, living off the arbitrary charity of strangers. And who am I to demand western rules of manner from Egyptian Bedouins in their own country, anyway? I decide I like his lack of phoney politeness.
We’ve sailed up the Nile, from Luxor to Aswan and then back down again. We’ve had eight days packed with experiences, impressions, sights and smells, meandering through present-day Egypt as much as the past.
And so we’re back at the hustle and bustle of Hurghada airport, with a six-hour flight ahead of us. Take me back to my boat. Please!
Here are the chapters of this most eventful of holidays:
- Egyptian traffic
- Karnak, the largest ancient religious site in the world
- Exploring Edfu Temple
- Kom Ombo, the Crocodile Temple
- Boating the Nile in the 1800s and today
- Highlights of Aswan
- The Nubian island Elephantine
- Child-friendly pursuits in Aswan and felucca sailing
- Afternoon tea at the Old Cataract hotel
- Sounds and lights at Philae
- Idle musings along the Nile
- Smoking sheesha in Edfu and the waterborne shops at Esna.
- Valley of the Kings
- Hatshepsut’s Death Temple at Deir el-Bahari
- The Memnon Colossi and the fabulous Winter Palace Hotel in Luxor
- Luxor Temple, at the other end of the avenue of sphinxes from Karnak
And a few years on, Cat has written this piece: