On the Nile Route between Nairobi and Cairo travel blog

Staying in the boatman's house

Me at 3rd cataract


Well the wind picked up during the night to almost gale force and we awoke in the morning covered in a film of grit! I'm on cook group today - breakfast menu: cereal (with sand), scrambled eggs (with sand) and tea/coffee (with sand). A quick visit to the bathroom rock (with sandpaper and blow dry) and we were back on the truck to drive to our next stop, the small town of Wawa.

On the way we stopped at the 3rd cataract of the Nile, a series of rapids with old villages and archealogical sites along the banks. The government of Sudan wanted to dam this area which would result in the villages and sites being flooded, but the people protested and that plan has been shelved. I don't think Egypt downstream was very happy with the idea either. The reason for the dam was hydroelectric power, but these days there are other options that could be used for power without destroying the area.

The sand storm is getting worse and we stopped at another makeshift cafe mid morning to have hibiscus tea, which was delicious. We also organised some fried fish for lunch, which we took with us. We then drove on to Wawa where we are staying at the boatman's house and visiting the Temple of Soleb on the other side of the Nile, the journey to which is described in the Lonely Planet as "a right rollicking Boys Own adventure". It certainly started this way as we first had to find a track across the desert which took us some time with a few false starts and u-turns till we found the right bumpy, sandy track and proceeded with fingers crossed that we didn't get bogged!

We reached Wawa by lunchtime and got settled in the boatman's house with the wind still blowing. Don't think we will sleep outside tonight! Our boat trip to the temple, which was supposed to happen this afternoon, has been postponed till tomorrow morning in the hope that the wind will have eased by then.

A lazy afternoon then into the kitchen to cook pumpkin pasta and ratatouille for tea - quite a good effort considering we had two gas burners and had to substitute a few ingredients. Someone even found some "grape juice" which had been overlooked when we cleared out all the alcohol before crossing into Sudan. Then off to bed ready for an early start in the morning.

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