|After a great night’s sleep in clean comfort (and with earplugs securely in place) the sleeper train arrived at Aswan about 10am. It was a short taxi ride to the Nile Hotel where I’m staying for the next two nights. After a bit of pottering about I headed out with two of the couple on my tour to check out the town and wander down the river.
The heat was becoming pretty unbearable, creeping up around 45C, so we decided to head to a nearby hotel to go for a swim in their pool. By breezing in and heading straight to the pool area we were able to successful pull off the charade that we were guests and spent a leisurely afternoon lazing and drinking by the pool. The only problem was that its not really possible to stay IN the water very long as there was no shade and you could actually feel your skin cooking after only moments of being in the sun. But it was so nice to be able to cool off (repeatedly) throughout the afternoon.
About 5pm we headed off on a cruise along the Nile, around Elephantine Island where our cruise guide JJ was from, and eventually mooring on the west bank of the Nile to go for a camel ride over the dunes as the sun was setting. The camel ride was interesting, particularly as my camel boy didn’t bother holding on to my camel and just gave the reigns to me to hold but everyone else was being led. My camel was continually trying to bolt and I didn’t seem to have any control over it what so ever.
The camel ride ended in the Nubian village situated on the west bank and we went into a local home to have dinner there. There is NO recorded average rainfall in Aswan for any month of the year so most people don’t have roofing over their homes, or maybe just over the bedroom. It was so unusual to go into a home that not only had no roof, but instead of flooring it was just desert sand. The food was magnificent, and I ate my fill (and then some more for good measure). After a 15 minute boat ride we were back on the east back outside our hotel. An early night tonight as I have a 3am wake up call tomorrow to head to Abu Simbel.