On our first morning in Aswan we were picked up early by our guide Saidz for our tour to the High Dam, unfinished Obelisk & the Philae Temple. He spoke beautifully and was quite knowledgeable about the sites we were visiting. As he had let us know he was Coptic (Christian) we felt comfortable asking some questions we perhaps would not have asked our muslim guides, all in all quite interesting.
We came back to our hotel fur a short break and then were picked up by our Nubian guide for a tour of a Nubian village on an island in the middle of the Nile and joined his family for an authentic lunch. We had already learnt in Cairo that the Nubians originally came from present day Sudan and are black in skin colour. Although the feeling we got in Cairo was that everyone was Egyptian here in Aswan it was quite different. Nubians proudly identified themselves as Nubians and so did the Egyptians though it appeared more as points of pride rather than any racial overtones. After lunch and a walk around the village we hopped back on his small motorboat and cruised around the Nile islands of Aswan until we came across a secluded(BS) little beach on the west bank where we all dove in for a wonderful swim.
The next morining we were up at 3:30am for a 3 hour ride (each way) to Abu Simbel. We travelled in quite a large convoy as the destination is only 40klm from Sudan it seems the authorities believe that there is safety in numbers. The temple at Abu Simbel is truly a site to behold on the shores of a vast lake it takes up a big area and contains some well preserved statues.
Our last day began with another early visit, this time to a camel market. I must admit it didn’t sound that great when put to me but when we arrived the 3 of us just stood there gobsmacked, we were only there about 30 minutes but I can already say it was one of my highlights sofar. Then it was time to join our boat for a 2 day cruise north to Luxor. The first morning we stopped at a small town and were taken on a short drive by horse & buggy to Temple Edfu. Once again we were amazed by the size and condition of the ruins, each place seems more impressive than the last, however, I have heard great things about Luxor and tingle with anticipation as to what our illustrious tour leader (Deb) has in store.
Alas it speaks volumes about a man when in a matter of 2 short weeks his highlights go from ‘visiting one of the last known wonders of the ancient world’ to ‘having a solid crap’. The boat ‘though old fashioned is in good condition and after the hard slog sofar we all appreciate the comforrtable rooms, air conditioned dining with great food, wonderful service and the company of our fellow passengers.