05/06/2011 98 °F
We have arrived at our boat, the Amoura dahabeeyah), and it’s wonderful! We have the Owner’s Suite, which runs along the back of the boat and includes a balcony where we can relax privately.
There are six cabins plus one suite; so a full boat could have up to fifteen people (if three people are in the suite). There are seven of us sailing: the two of us, the three Canadians we met at the train station (Colin, Gerry, and Anna) and two Austrians (husband and wife). The Austrians only speak German so other than “good morning” and “good night” we don’t speak with them much. There are two guides on board: Ismail is an English-speaking Egyptian guide for the five of us and there is another Egyptian gentleman who speaks German as guide for the Austrians.
We are shown to our cabins with instructions to freshen up: lunch to be served in half an hour. We “set sail” immediately because we need to be 60 kilometers south of Esna before we tie up for the night. I say 'set sail' but there is not enough wind to sail the entire distance in five plus days. We have a tugboat that will travel with us and pull us for part of the trip. Not an ideal situation but the trip is only five days and we need to travel a total of 228 km from Esna to Aswan. We will reach the halfway mark on our trip tomorrow, Saturday, at Edfu. There’s not much to see between Esna and Edfu (well, nothing that is conveniently located close to the Nile).
It seems cooler here in Esna on the boat although the weather report indicated it will get hotter the further south we traveled.
We will be having more traditional Egyptian cuisine for our meals on board the dahabeeyah. One difference is the food is prepared European-style so we (hopefully) don't fall victim to the "Pharoah's curse". Here's a picture of lunch: Egyptian wheat pita (served at every meal), white beans, a cucumber/tomato/parsley salad, tahini with molasses, and rice. Yummy!
If the weather allows it we will have all of our meals on the upper deck. There is a lounge below deck with a dining table but it is a bit dark in there. The lounge also has a bar, television with satellite and a DVD player. I don't plan to spend any time in the lounge.
Here are a few photos Timothy took after lunch while we were relaxing on our balcony. It is bliss!