Recent Entries


December 22, 2004

Bob Marley on a Donkey!


We started our Nile Cruise looking for beer but unfortunately Ramadan - the Muslim Holy month - had begun that day. During Ramadan a good Muslim will let nothing but air pass his or her lips during the day (no food, water or even cigarette smoke). They are also expected to abstain from alcohol completely and from sexual relations with everyone/thing except their first wife (sorry boys, no camel, donkey or monkey spanking for a month). Not only does this make it nigh on impossible to get booze, it also makes everyone pretty grumpy, especially just before breakfast (around 5ish in the afternoon). They are also not supposed to sell alcohol either, but when there's a bill there's a way and it was just a case of talking to the right Mohammed and paying a bit more than usual. It's official, I'm a bad Muslim, but hey the squeaky Infidel gets the beer....

The cruise started with a delicious vegetarian buffet lunch. Our captains, Nasser and Mohammed waited until we were all full then let the ropes slip and we were off. There is a feeling of serenity and timelessness on most sailing trips, but this cruise down the Nile felt like it could have taken place any time in the last 6000 years (apart from the Bob Marley blaring from the stereo). Egypt is 90 odd percent desert (it changes depending on who's telling the story) and if viewed from above you would see a thin green line of vegetation hugging the meandering river. Life has remained essentially unchanged out here, probably due to the fact that more than 15m either side of the river there is none. We floated gently down the river, before the light started fading and we found a place to rest for the night. We gathered some firewood as Nasser began on dinner and soon the sun had set and dinner was ready. Another boat had pulled up alongside us, so we joined our collections of firewood and beer and set about having a good ol' beach party. The captains of both boats had all bought drums and soon the clear night air was filled with the sounds of African beats, singing and laughter.One by one the group drifted off to bed until I was left alone, gazing in awe at the unfamiliar northern hemisphere stars and lost in thought.
The next morning we let off early, most of us snoozing all the way down river till we got to Kom-Ombo in the early afternoon. Kom-Ombo is another "new school" temple built by the Ptolemey's on the site of an older temple. It is a little different to most temples in that it is dedicated to two gods, Horus (Bird-head) and Sobek (Crocodile-head). It was also completely deserted (apart from the guys with uzi's) so we had the place to ourselves for the afternoon, which was amazing. Kom-Ombo seems to have escaped the destruction that was inflicted on most of the other temple and is in pretty good shape, some of the columns and roofs still have a little of the original colour, which fires the imagination as to how impressive it must have been when it was a fully functional temple. We returned to the boat and headed upstream where we rafted up to a couple of other boats and repeated the festivities of the last night, only with more people and (most surreally) an appearance by a dope dealing local on a donkey. As the night wore on a couple of the drunken Aussies (is there any other kind?) from another boat attempted to ride said donkey whilst smoking huge joints and yelling "Bob Marley on a donkey", causing much amusement and hollering from the onlooking crowd of tourists and locals. The next morning we found out that whilst all the merriment was going on, one of our captains had slipped back to the boat where the girls were getting ready for bed, getting a bit too close and sleazily offering to give one of the married women a "Nubian Massage". It was a small black mark on a fantastic couple of days.

Posted by Zach & Emily on December 22, 2004 09:26 AM
Category: Egypt
Email this page
Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

Designed & Hosted by the BootsnAll Travel Network