Monday, February 5, 2007

Day 5. Started out as expected.

The description of the itinerary for Day 5, reads "Morning we meet the felucca for a relaxing day of sailing on the Nile". We were to spend the night on the felucca - sleeping in the open, under the stars. Per Daniel's instructions, we all packed our daypacks accordingly - lots of warm clothing, flashlight, and of course, sleeping bag.

The day started with breakfast on the rooftop of the hotel. For 10 EG (less than $2), I had toast and crepes served with jam and honey, cheese and butter, a glass of fruit salad, a glass of lemon juice, and a cup of coffee. I ate well!!

As usual, we all met in the lobby and headed out of the hotel...




...and walked down to the corniche, which runs alongside the Nile. It was yet another beautiful day - I was really getting spoiled with the weather in Egypt considering the blustery cold I had left behind in DC!



Zdena and I kept pace with one another as we walked towards the boat dock.


Once we arrived at the boat dock, we handed over our backpacks for storage under the felucca - we would just keep our daypacks. We then took off our shoes and boarded the boat.



Everyone staked out a spot on the mattress that topped the deck of the felucca and got ready to do nothing but chill for the rest of the day. After all the sightseeing we had done over the past few days, everyone was looking forward to simply doing nothing.

From left to right, Dora, Alex, Laura and Zdena.


From left to right, it's Kirsten and Sandy.


Even Lei was getting into the swing of things.



In the meantime, Daniel was helping Abdul, our boat captain, load blocks of ice into the cooler.



Then, Daniel passed out sheets of newspaper and rolls of packing tape and instructed us to wrap our valuables (passport, money, and anything else we wanted to keep secure) inside the newspaper, tape it with the tape and to write our name on our bundle. The newspaper bundles were then placed inside a metal box and secured with a padlock.



We then pushed off and left Aswan behind us as we sailed north down the Nile.



Soon, the cityscape of Aswan was replaced by Egyptian countryside and we were sailing on very tranquil water. The air was filled with the sound of chatter on the felucca and the strains of Bob Marley (courtesy of Bridget's iPod ).






I went up to the bow of the boat to soak in the scenery and to do some reading. Zdena joined me and we ended up chatting.

At some point, Daniel called out that we would be floating to shore, anchor and have lunch. I decided to head back down to the main deck and that's when it happened.....