Sail all day and arrive in Aswan
05/09/2011 92 °F
Ahhh! Today was a perfect lazy day continuing to sail (and I mean sail this time) down the Nile. The weather is perfect, cooler than it has been in the last few days. Most of us are lying about reading our books, taking a nap or working on laptops. Add the backdrop of sailing down the Nile and I don't think I could ask for a more perfect place to be lazy.
Lunch is light and delicious: sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, wheat bread, tahini, molasses, and a tuna salad. Who came up with the idea of drizzling molasses on tahini? It's brilliant! The molasses here is much lighter tasting and not as thick as the molasses we get in the US. It might have something to do with the fact that they are not "unsulfured" molasses. I don't know but I'm definitely going to do some research on this topic.
As we finish lunch we sail beneath a large modern bridge which means we are entering Aswan. We will tie up in Aswan within the hour. Can't say I'm thrilled about that: it means our cruise is almost over and I'm not ready to leave our dahabeeyah.
We will be going into Aswan to visit the souk after dinner. In the meantime Gerry and I are taking advantage of the first bit of free WiFi available in days. It means we need to sit at the very back of the dahabeeyah but that's okay with us. Thank you, Iberotel Aswan!
Dinner is another great meal and finally, koshari is on the menu. Yummy! Along with beef simmered in tomatoes, spaghetti, lentils, and rice. Egypt has a nice light tasting beer, Stella. Very good with tonight's dinner.
After dinner we take a van to the Aswan market. And lucky us - there is a giant pylon at the entrance that says "Aswan Tourist Market". Okay, I was hoping this was going to be a market that the locals shop at but that does not appear to be the case. There are lots of locals hanging out but they don't appear to be buying anything. The guide books say this market has a great selection of spices. Ismail lives here in Aswan when he is not working and he takes us to the spice shop where he shops for his spices.
We all stop at a pharmacy so Colin can purchase some cold medicine (his cold symptoms started yesterday; my cold symptoms are showing up as we walk through the market though I don't know it yet) then we split up after Ismail tells us when, where and what time we will meet up later.
Lots of vendors yelling at us as we walk by: "I don't know what you want but I'm sure I have it."; "Please, my friend, come and take a look at my shop. Just for a minute."; "No charge for looking."; "What are you looking for?"; "You are looking for a [select an item: scarf/scarab/t-shirt]?"; "I can help you spend your money." The list is endless. And it is exhausting to work our way through several people at once. They don't listen to anything we say and if we don't say anything we are asked "Why are you so angry?". The one that seems to work some of the time is when I say "no money". Once when I said this to a ten-year-old boy trying to sell me scarab bracelets, he responded "No money, no honey." and walked away in search for his next sale.