While traveling in Egypt we saw THE pyramids, more pyramids (and museum), temples in Luxor, and the west bank regions of Luxor. After our full day of exploring the West Bank regions we had time available before our all night bus ride back to Cairo and headed down to visit the River Nile up close and personal.
We idealized walking by the river, talking and watching the sunset. What really happened was a whole 'nother story. As we neared the water we were swarmed with "salesmen," but of a different variety than the camel haggling pyramid types. Empty sail boats lined the shores, and everyone wanted us in their boat for the "sunset sailing of a lifetime".
Naturally, we were all for a sail boat ride, however there were so many pleading with us that there was no easy way to choose without starting a mini-riot. Instead we sprinted to the nearest boat, jumped in, and took cover until our chosen captain safely escaped the rioting shoreline.
Okay, that's not exactly how it all went down.
We first tried the "flee" tactic, seeing if we could disappear back to our hotel but we were followed, and that wasn't ideal. Besides, we really did want to sail on the river...if we could just get past the shoreline...
We delayed almost too long, small talking people away, feigning sea-sickness to poverty while trying to figure out how not to cause a scene and still get in a boat - we failed miserably. Alas, they scuffled, argued and yelled - we tipped the "losers" and ducked into a float worthy-ish boat. Ah, travel. Never a dull moment.
Finally, we were out on the river and barely in time to see the the sun dip below the horizon. Our bedouin captain, pictured above, had nothing to do with the skirmishing but was a model of grace for all; a peaceful, wonderful man who apologized with his eyes for the others behavior and politely urged us to enjoy the sunset as we pushed off into the waters.
It was an interesting venture, but hey, we were on the Nile! The last time I visited Egypt I had gone on a local dinner cruise on the Nile, during which we witnessed 2 weddings, a belly dancer, and enjoyed wonderful company and food. $15 splurge for several hours of sheer "culture."
I had wanted to repeat the experience with Geoff...but that little thing with the belly dancer changed my mind. I much prefered our semi-private little sail boat.
The Nile is a beautiful lifesource and it was an honor to experience it so up close and personal. Check out Geoff's reflections on the Biblical lessons GOD paints using imagery from this region in his recent post.