Sahara Sunrise & a Sunset SailJanuary 9, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C
4am is not my friend. That was our wake up call for today so we could join the convey to make our way to Abu Simbel. The only way to cross the Sahara is with a police escort - so hello 4am and 3 hour bus ride.
It was totally worth it. I’ve been looking forward to Abu Simbel since we paid our deposit for this trip, or really even since my 2010 history class at school (eeek was that 10 years ago!). The entrance is quite dramatic! There are a few unusual things about these temples:
1. Unlike all the other temples we’ve seen, these were actually carved into the mountain, rather than crafted block by block.
2. These were moved up onto the hill because th Aswan dam was flooding the temples and ruining them.
The Aswan dam is like a beautiful version of Lake Macquarie - but man made! The desert starts on the banks which makes for a really unusual contrast; the nile right next to massive rocky sand dunes.
Walking around the corner, I was immediately impressed by the regal statues of Rameses II. Not a guy you would want to get into a war with - which was exactly the point. Inside was quite well preserved. My favourite wall was the battle of Kadesh. Yep, there’s another depiction of this battle, just in case you missed the other million versions. This one was really beautiful though. Surreal.
Our afternoon activity was a visit to a Nubian village, which we reached via a motor boat. A few of us got to go onto the roof of the boat and watch the sand dunes roll on by. The contrast between water and desert was, once again, striking!
Cue camel ride along the Nile. Terrifying. Mildly entertaining. They are crazy creatures. Not to mention the last thing I heard Garry say when leaving the boat was “if you get bitten by a camel, you’re on a plane home tomorrow”. Nothing like riding an animal with poisonous teeth. I’m more than happy for that to be the last camel ride of my life.
The Nubian village was beautiful and brightly coloured, with a dome shaped roof on every house. They keep crocodiles (not mummified ones this time!) in their houses. For Egypt, the crocodile was bad news, but for Nubians it is a symbol of protection. Matt held one of the baby crocodiles that had a red cord wrapped around its mouth!
We strolled through the village and did a bit of shopping. MT bought a drum, I bought three scarves and a rug. Returned to cruise ship via motorboat. Happy days.
Until the first drama of our trip. Matt left his backpack on the motorboat! Luckily he had his wallet and phone in his jacket. Medhat sorted it all out and miraculously the backpack was returned!
Tomorrow is our last day in Egypt!Read more