Monday, March 26, 2012

Kate on the Loose, Part 4: Nile Cruise

My good friend, Kate, is on a solo trip in Egypt. On March 21, she wrote:

Boarded the Sonestra Moon Goodess at noon on March 17th.  There were eight people in a dining room for 80.  I sat with a couple, Cheryl and George, from Mississippi. He teaches archeology, specializing in the Mayan civilization.  The first tour was to Luxor and Karnak. Words cannot describe the wonder.  By the end of the first day, the nine, yes only nine passengers for the first three days, we were all friends and shared all meals at a large round table.

The other USA couple were Susan and Ryan.  She teaches 5th grade in Tulsa, OK, and Ryan is an architect working on a new airport in Qatar.

There were two couples from the UK.  Tricia and David, retired, in their early 60s.  They travel all the time as does the other UK couple.  Neil and Julie, great fun.  Neil is on the national board that promotes football (rugby) in the UK.  He will be helping with table tennis at the Olympics.  We had a great time together and exchanged emails.  Tricia and David invited me for tea at the Cataract Hotel.  It's the grand old colonial hotel.  Quite lovely.

Each day on the cruise we toured - also the Valley of the Kings and Queens.  Some of the tombs had the original painted decoration. I didn't realize the outside and inside of temples were painted.  Of course most has worn off.  They clean the paintings but don't restore them.  In Aswan we saw the Phillae temple, a granite quarry, and the two Nile dams.

To get back to lodging: I, on the other hand, had booked a Nubian guesthouse room.  I took the local ferry (me and 30 Muslim men and women) and then walked up a dusty road to reach the guesthouse.  As I was walking along a young man trotted by on a camel.  I do love being with the locals - no posh hotel for me. The room and ensuite was large and clean.  The jewel of the house was a roof top terrace overlooking the Nile and the few Nubian homes.

Time to go to another temple.


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