The cleaning lady folded the towel in the shape of a swan this morning. Grace and I found that hilarious. Swan. Aswan? Nobody else seemed to get it. Mudi said they likely didn't do it on purpose as they don't speak english and of course swan in Arabic is....I don't know but it's not swan.
After going to bed, Grace and I discussed what we'd learned and tried to piece everything together. Between the two of us we think we got most of it. We've learned so much already!
Over a leisurely breakfast, I updated internet stuff and then we headed off to the van that took us to our felucca. A sailboat that's approximately 30' long, with a flat deck they had covered in mattresses was to be our home and transportation for the day as we sailed down the Nile. We relaxed while watching the scenery, reading, playing silly games and chatting. At lunch time a support boat motored up to us and we were given a carb loaded lunch with oranges, used the bathroom and back on to the feluca. Late in the afternoon our Nubian crew beached it so Rachel,Grace and I could go for a swim. The water was clean and very “refreshing”. The current was pretty strong so we didn't venture far from the boat.
We stopped for the night on the other side of the Nile attached to the support boat where we had dinner together of chicken and more carbs and...oranges. Some of us played silly card games and then headed back to the felucca, climbed into our sleep sheets and covered with the heavy blankets they provided and attempted sleep.
Tuesday, February 24.
The 4:30 am call to prayer was really loud here so getting up at 5:30 wasn't difficult. Breakfast, a quick coffee, cross the Nile, back in the van and we were on the road before 7 am.
The first stop was the Kom Ombo temple and crocodile museum. It was built about 3,000 years ago and the artwork is different, more 3 dimensional. They had a resident crocodile that they fed and once a year was given a human sacrifice, a volunteer who walked down the stairs.
Our next stop was the Edfu temple which is massive. It's got a lot of falcons and two staircases. One is circular to represent the way a falcon flies up. The other is straight to represent how the falcon flies straight down when it spots it's prey.
Mudi had ordered felafel pitas (Egyptian fast food) and we ate it in the van on the way to Luxor. We passed beautiful farmland on one side and desert on the other. For a bit it looked foggy which didn't make sense as it's hot and dry so I asked Mudi and yes, it was a sandstorm. Not a particularly bad one but it makes me appreciate snow. At least snow is clean. Sand gets everywhere, coats everything and gives the impression that the place is dirty. Oh, there's plenty of garbage as well but I've seen worse.
After a quick shower and organizing, some of us went with Mudi to the Karnack temple. Wow. It's massive! We learned more about Queen Hatshepsut who claimed the God Amunra was her father so they'd accept a woman ruler rather than her husband's 5 year old son with a different wife who, at 25, killed her so he could be King Tetmoses 2. He had his people build an obelisk and when they wouldn't build it bigger than hers (they liked her better) he knocked hers over. My head is full.
Back in town for a quick stop in the room and then we met the others for dinner. Naomi and I shared a meal of camel and both had a Greek salad as we're just craving vegetables. The salad was awesome. Camel was okay. It was served in a nice copper dish in a sauce and tasted kind of like stewed beef. The restaurant had the first free wifi we've seen so we all took advantage.