|Sunrise in Aswan and most of our crew are still catching z's.|
|First call to prayer of the day.|
|Homeless & Kimbo (aka Posh & Becks)|
|Thar she blows!!!|
Back on dry land we all gave a cheer as we caught a glimpse of Roxy on her barge before making our way through customs and passport control. Outside we were met by armies of cab drivers and money exchangers that wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Amazingly, the hotel had a pool on the roof terrace (which was about 6 storeys up) so Homeless, Kimbo and I wasted no time in getting wet. What a view it was up there too. I could have spent all day just watching the feluccas tacking up river into the wind as the others zoomed down in a straight line with the wind behind them...but we had a town to go explore.
|View of the Nile from our room in the Hathor Hotel.|
|Roof terrace and pool!|
|The Nile view from the roof terrace - Movenpick hotel on the far bank.|
|Be afraid. Be very afraid.|
(No photography allowed inside the temples by the way...as you'll see from the below. Apparently it used to be just flash photography disallowed but they've recently got stricter - some of our guys tried a few sneaky internal shots but were quickly shutdown by the man...fight the power.)
|"The Great Temple” - dedicated to Ra-Harakhty, Ptah and Amun.|
|Jules, Ish & Jen aka The Bangles.|
|God-damn you Le Caros...ruin (no pun intended) it for all of us.|
|“The Small Temple” aka “The temple of Hathor and Nefertari”|
|Queen Nefertitties and Sheikh Ya Booty.|
|Ejits in Egypt. CW from L: Spence, Kyle, Gab, Berbs, Hendrik, Kenj, Saffer Rob, Rob D, Ish, Jen, Jules, Pat, Yoich, Alli, Ronaldo, Son, AK, Kay & Kimbo.|
|Birthday girl drinking the vodka watermelon.|
The next day was another for exploring but by now we were all worn out with the constant fending off of people selling things we weren’t interested in and the draining process of bartering with people selling things we WERE interested in. Like most people, I actually enjoy a good, friendly barter but when it’s everyday over anything as trivial as a can of coke or chocolate bar, it gets tiresome quickly. When you don’t barter, you can’t help but feel like you paid way above what you should have.
|The healing power of sheesha...I spotted this cool cat on the way into Edfu.|
|Lying down and taking it all in.|
|This was my view for the best part of two days.|
|Me and my ginger beard could get used to this.|
|Feluccas tacking against the wind.|
|Give me a felucca over one of these cruisers any day.|
At about mid-day we picked up Kay (who had started a felucca trip the day before with the added perk of spending a night in a Nubian village) and not long afterwards we stopped off on a small beach for lunch. It’s fair to say that that afternoon the only energy any of us spent was in getting a beer (we stocked up the Esky beforehand!) or raising our heads slightly if somebody spotted something of note.
|Kenj (aka Hawaiian Brian) goes for a lunch-time swim.|
|The captain, the deck-hand and the lady they look after.|
|The gang enjoying lunch on the felucca.|
|Paddy & Ish playing a heated game of scrabble as Homeless raises a beer.|
|Jen & Jules (they're lesbians! - Ish said to put that in).|
|Sailing under a low bridge.|
|Yep - that's the bridge we just went under.|
|The Kenj - looking somehwere between P.I.M.P. and George The Hofmeister Bear.|
|Paddy & Homeless - shooting the breeze, in the breeze.|
The first night we moored up on the shores of an island and Abdullah (the captain) took everybody off to have food in a local village whislt Son and I stayed behind with the deck-hand. We’d been kind of jaded by the number of ‘cultural village trips’ we’d been on throughout the Trans: Most of them have turned out to be badly organised, thinly-veiled and drawn-out attempts of getting yet more money out of tourists. For every honest “community” trip like the orphanage and education projects Laraldo and co. took part in back in Uganda or the village dinner in Malawi, there are countless others like the pygmy trip at Lake Bunyonyi (also Uganda) and the voodoo tour in Benin which prove to be disappointing and anticlimactic or just a waste of time, energy and money. Besides, it was too relaxing just chilling out on the felucca under the moonlight, listening to the river lapping against the sides and letting the deck-hand (I forgot his name) tell us stories of his experiences in the Egyptian army and his countless conquests with foreigners as a result of his job on the boat.
|if we don't get Bilharzia, we might get his lesser-known brother, Martin Harzia.|
|Me & Kay|
As the sun set, the boat moored up in the shelter of a sandbar and me and Homeless had one last swim for the day before a candlelit dinner for 15 on the felucca. All meals were included in the trip fee and not once did the chef fail to impress us. Tonight was no different. After a dessert of fresh fruit we entertained ourselves with numerous games (e.g. Allison and Spence knew a game – no doubt from their teaching – where you count to 20 randomly as a group without saying the same number as anybody else or saying more than one number) and riddles (e.g. the usual “it was a man standing on an ice block” suicide) to keep us occupied. Somebody also suggested “would you rather?” where you pose two situations (usually obscene or debauched) and get an insight into people’s characters from their responses. This went down a very rapid downward spiral into depravity. For example: “to have loved and had your heartbroken or... to have never loved at all” was an early one (no doubt from one of the girls) and in the later stages we had “the best-looking partner you could ask for, but sexually abstinent or...a minging slut” (you can put money on that one coming from one of us fellas).
|These two little dudes were calling me Ali Baba because of my beard.|
|The temple at Kom-Ombo from outside the walls.|
After 30mins wondering around here we had another couple of hours drive before pulling up at Edfu. We all knew instantly that we’d be happy forking out for this one (entrance fee was 50 Egyptian Pounds or 8.53 USD at time of writing). The site was huge and our driver had only given us an hour to walk around it and take it in. I have to admit at this point I was disappointed in myself for not going into the temples at Kom Ombo and more disappointed in myself for being so ignorant when it comes to Egyptian history. We can’t expect to know everything about everything but how did I not know more about such a rich and fascinating cultural past? I’m not going to even try and steal some factoids from Wikipedia to insert here and pretend I knew what all this awe-inspiring architecture was about.
|The Temple of Horus at Edfu.|
|Homeless & Kimbo heading into the main temple.|
|Hieroglyphics at the gate of the temple.|
|Homeless doing what Homeless does best.|
|The "barque" in the sanctuary at the centre of the temple.|
|Watch out for lil' scrotes like this when going inside the temple - they seem innocent enough but they're everywhere there's a pocket to picked.|