May 28, 2010
We headed on down to jump on a felucca for dinner Thursday night. A felucca is a type of sailboat used by the Nubian people, who are a seperate community to the mainstream Muslim Egyptian population. They have been been in Egypt for thousands of years, even back in the Pharonic times. Unfortunately the wind was too strong to put up the sail, so we had to be pushed along by a motorboat for the majority of the journey. At one point we didn't even need the sail OR the motorboat for the wind to be strong enough to push us upstream against the current of the Nile.
We eventually came to the 'first cataract' - an area of the riiver where the water runs significantly faster through some narrow sections. We pulled up at a small rocky island which another cruise, which was staying on their felucca for 3 nights, was stopped. They were swimming around, and two from our tour, one being myself, also jumped in. One guy has since told us that swimming in the Nile is bad... but this was a couple of days ago now and no ill effects so I'm dubious.
After the island we coasted a little and the crew made us a very nice traditional Nubian dinner. It was rather plain, but very tasty with rice dishes, stews, fresh vegies and fruit. As we ate it got darker, and it became an actual candlelit dinner under the stars... if it wasn't so dusty so we could actually see them.
The trip back was wonderful, in the dark with the lights of Aswan and the occasional other motorboat cruising past us. I wasted a bit of my cameras battery playing around with long exposure times and light trails. Some photos below, do excuse the lame attempts at abstract art.