Egypt - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 83

Esna

Tuesday 3rd June

As predicted, I slept in this morning for several hours longer than usual. I awoke to find that we were no longer in Edfu and in fact were once again travelling up the Nile River. I was a little bemused by this since I was under the impression that we were going to be visiting the Temple of Horus at Edfu. It turned out that the boat was due to dock at Esna by one o’clock in the afternoon but I was worried about our guide waiting to meet us as Edfu. It turned out to be a bit of a misunderstanding and our guide showed up to collect us just after lunch.

Ordinarily, the two hundred and fifty or so Nile cruise ships would travel the full length of the Nile but due to renovation work being done at Esna, no ships can pass through, so they dock here instead and ferry the tourists the sixty or so kilometres north to Luxor by road. The ships dock right next to each other and stack against one and other up to seven or more ships deep. You have to walk from one ship to the next all the way through until you reach the side of the dock to disembark. Since all the ships have a very similar design, the doors onto and off of the ships are all in the same place in the midsection so this facilitates the passage through each of the ships.

We had to be content with a guided tour of the temple at Esna this afternoon but since we were the only two on the tour, we received the full attention of our guide who once again delivered a fantastic tour of the half buried temple. We are getting to know our guide, Ehab, quite well and I spent over an hour chatting with him on the boat this afternoon after the tour was completed. There isn’t much to Esna itself and the forty-two degree Celsius temperature meant that we were quickly back on the boat after the completion of the tour. Ehab is going to take us back to one of the temples at Luxor after our initial tour there is complete. He wants to show us what the temple looks like after dark and is all nicely lit up. This is just one of the things that he is doing for us over and above his required duties and we feel really lucky to have him as our guide.

The boat staff are doing more and more to try to make us comfortable now and we were even served chicken and chips for dinner this evening – much to the curiosity of the on-looking Germans who must surely have been wondering how it came to be that we were receiving preferential treatment.

This evening’s entertainment was a belly dancer followed by another spinning skirt dancer. It was pretty much a repeat of the performance that we saw on the Nile dinner cruise in Cairo and seems to be a very traditional compliment of evening’s entertainment here in Egypt. The belly dancer was better than the one in Cairo but the skirt dancer was not quite as good.

When we returned to our cabin this evening, we found something quite amusing. Our cabin cleaners are taken to arranging our things on the beds to form various depictions of animals or other things and today, we found a nicely stacked arrangement of pillows, pyjamas, our walking stick and a roll of toilet paper with a face drawn on it all made to look like an old man sitting on my bed. It was quite amusing.

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