Wednesday, December 16, 2009

River Nile Felucca

Our fire burns down to embers during a chilly night on the banks of the Nile River. When it's time to board the boat for bed our captain, Allah, notices that the passing river boats have beached our felucca. He and his uncle, who we just call "Uncle," wade into the water and begin to push. They are having little to no success so I roll up my pants and step into the dark Nile. With Uncle and Allah on either side of me, we try to leg press the boat into deeper waters. At first, it is a comedy of errors but soon we begin to feel the felucca coming unstuck. After a few more synchronized pushes, she is floating again.

We boarded the beautiful white sailing boat earlier that day in Aswan. The deck of the felucca had a foam mattress and pillows for lounging. We sailed around, just the two of us, before picking up Tim from Portugal, Catherine from Texas and a Chinese couple. We all relaxed and talked of our travels as Allah tacked back and forth across the Nile. By the time the sun set in the desert to the west, we were all good friends. We continued sailing after dark, gliding along in the Egyptian night before going ashore for dinner and a fire. The Chinese man surprised us all by breaking out his harmonica. Uncle accompanied him on drums. Allah pulled out his travel size hookah and we smoked sheeshah.

Once the boat was unstuck, we boarded and prepared to sleep in the cold under thick blankets. When we awoke, the Chinese were gone, having only signed up for one night. We were in no rush the second day. We didn't start sailing until 11:00am and soon after we stopped for an extended lunch break. Allah said it was a good place to swim. We were all still cold from the night before but I was ready to jump in. I ran into the refreshing water as the other three began to change their minds. Soon we were all bathing in ancient waters.

After lunch we had a strong wind at our backs and continued towards Luxor. We learned from Catherine that Allah had offered her 500 camels and 2,000 Egyptian pounds for her hand in marriage. We laughed about the proposal and the other antics of Allah and Uncle. Allah only spoke a little English and Uncle, none, so much was lost in translation. As funny as Allah was, it was Uncle who stole the show with his crazy eyes, random animal noises and cuddling up to me as a morning wake up call. The laughter continued around the camp fire that night and into the final day of our voyage.


biddy said...

What did you smoke?lol

Addie said...

So pretty!!! Uncle looks so loving!!!!!

blogger said...

Was looking forward for this post guys!

Nevertheless I believe that bid is overvalued. Still waiting for his 5 sisters.

Cap. Uncle