Journey Down the Nile – Day 5

View of the NIle from our cabin window

THOUGHTS FROM MY REST DAY:

Lazy day today as I am not feeling well. Thought I could power it out, but today was a 5-hour day in the heat of two desert locations, and I found myself out of breath just walking downstairs to breakfast. So as a result, I will miss Beni Hassan and the southern tombs of Tel Amarna. Leon is enjoying it all alone, if you can call it alone when he’s on a bus with 30 other people.

I did however manage my first swim on the boat (and before you begin to wonder, NO…there will not be any photos of me in my swimsuit). It’s just now about 10am and already over 90 degrees even here on the Nile. I’m guessing it’s well over 95 where Leon is, so I think I made the right choice.

I know this was an ambitious adventure for us to undertake when you factor in the heat, the dry air and all the hiking, but if anyone asks me whether they should try to visit Egypt, I would say “Absolutely. Just make SURE to go in November, December, January or February. September is NOT remotely easy.”

The people on the boat couldn’t be nicer. They are always buzzing around trying to find work to do (which I am sure with 65 guests on board is not difficult). 

I find it funny that they run over to take your salad or dinner plate to the table so you don’t have to carry it the 20 steps from the glorious buffet, but we are horsing our way up and down sandy desert mountains in the heat for hours at a time. The duality of that is something worth pondering.

EDUCATIONAL TIPS:

There are no educational tips today per se…just some thoughts if any of you are considering a trip to Egypt.

1. Cruising down the Nile from Cairo to Luxor is a great way to explore the country and feel like Cleopatra at the same time…remember, she cruised this same river all those thousands of years ago.

2. I had no idea how to pack. I would say for women bring long, flowing dresses with short sleeves made of feather-light material (see the slideshow at the end of this post for photos of our sweet Anita…she is always dressed so beautifully). Also important is a great pair of walking shoes that give you tons of support for hiking up and down sandy desert hills (but that you feel somewhat cute in) — and then maybe a couple of very light-weight t-shirts and a pair of linen pants. For men, buy about three pair of cargo pants that have zippers at the knee so they can convert into cargo shorts if it gets really hot. Also, men, bring smart wool t-shirts that are made especially for a tropical climate and get a size larger so they kind of hang rather that feeling tight against your skin.

3. OTHER ESSENTIALS: 

– Ladies: Only a couple of lightweight scarves. (You will want to buy more while here.
– a pair of sandals to wear on the boat
– At least 45 SPF sunscreen (at least 2 large tubes of the stuff)
– A Sun hat with netting on the sides for each of you…hopefully with a string at the neck so that when the wind kicks up you can make sure it doesn’t fly away.
– A Swim Suit for each of you and ladies a cover up that is basically a dress –  knee length or longer. Remember this is a Muslim country…you want to avoid things like tank tops, spaghetti straps and shorts.
– A folding fan for the woman to keep in a VERY small, lightweight travel bag
– A backpack for the guys to carry bottles of water 
– A mini-electric fan (the tiny hand held ones they sell on Amazon) for when it really gets hot.
– At least three nice Hawaiian style short sleeve shirts and a pair of linen dress pants for the men to wear for dinner on the boat
– At least three nice outfits for dinner on the boat for the women.
– A lightweight jacket for each of you – one that will go with your dress clothes for dinner on the boat.

MOST IMPORTANT:

Go in November, December, January or February if you possibly can so you can avoid the heat

FUN DETAIL:

We had a Whirling Dervish come on board last night to perform. It’s the second time I’ve ever seen one in action, and I will say, it amazed me as much this time as the first. I don’t know how they can do it and not pass out. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I know this is a short and relatively uninteresting post, but this is just a diary after all. I don’t feel interesting today, just exhausted and sore all over. I think I vacation better on my own schedule rather than being part of a scheduled tour. That way when I feel interested and physically great, I can do more…when I need to rest a bit, I don’t feel like I’ve missed something important. 

Ah well…It’s nap-time I think, or maybe time for a glass of strawberry juice — or both. We’ll see.

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