05/07/2011 94 °F
Held off as long as I could and finally went to bed about 10:00 p.m. last night. Slept great! We tied up about 40 km north of Edfu last night. This morning we will continue on and arrive in Edfu about 10-10:30 a.m.
Once we arrive in Edfu we hire a calèche (horse drawn carriage) to take us to the Edfu Temple or Temple of Horus. I check out the horse and he doesn’t look bad. I had heard that the horses used for the carriages are badly mistreated and emaciated but I’m not seeing any horses with sores on their backs or looking malnourished. I tell the driver not to use a whip on the horse and I see that he doesn’t have a whip. He agrees with me, “no whip”. And he’s right, he does not use a whip. What he does have is a rope with a few knots tied onto the end of it. When he wants the horse to go faster he swings the rope around and slaps the rope on the underside the horse. He only does it twice to the horse on our trip: once each way. I would rather walk or take a cab than see a horse whipped or mistreated.
We arrive at the Edfu Temple and it is amazing! One of the best preserved temples it is the Ptolemaic cult Temple of Horus. Prior to its excavation, it was covered in mud and silt with houses built on top of it.
We then set sail again and head for Silsila, an ancient quarry that is located between Edfu and Kom Ombu. The quarry can be found on either side of the Nile but we park the boat along the west bank immediately below the Temple of Horemheb, a temple carved into the sandstone. We have arrived after dark and the temple is lit up for security (to keep looters from trying to take pieces of the carved walls) with a couple of guards on duty. It is quite spectacular to have our dinner on the upper deck with the lit temple behind us.
Tomorrow morning we will do some exploring after breakfast before heading south to Kom Ombo.