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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Egypt Day 16 - Back to Esna - Gelbe el Silsila

 The entire passenger manifest on the deck enjoying lunch.  
Itinerary Day 16:  Edfu
"Enjoy breakfast at your leisure, sailing along the Nile, enjoy the wonder scenes between east and west bank of the Nile. You have a possibility for walking in the city or doing another optional visit to Edfu Temple to find out more of the great temple secrets and watch the wonderful scenes on the great temple walls, or you can stay on the sundeck to enjoy reading a book."

Journal: 
As noted previously, our usual routine is a visit to an ancient temple or site in the morning and back to the boat for a late lunch. The difference this day is that there were only three passengers left on the dahabiya - me, Sigrid, and our guide Ismail.  After the rest of the passengers departed in Aswan, we started back north, moving with the current on a return trip to Esna. Last night we anchored near the Gebel el-Silsila sandstone quarry  - the source of much of the sandstone used to build temples and tombs in the new pharaonic era - and the Speos of Horemheb.


This site was originally planned for yesterday's itinerary, but that was a busy day so we're picking it up now.  It called for a dinner among the illuminated temples on the grounds in the quarry. However, that was preempted by an active archaeological expedition working out of a dahabiya moored directly in front of us. Dinner was on board the dahabiya, which was fine. It's pretty cool in the evening.

Artifacts found at the site waiting to sorted and stored. 
Their presence, cold temperatures and wind kept us on the boat for dinner and moved our site exploration to this morning. As usual, Ismail provided fascinating insight into the history and details of the quarry and temple.






Then it's back to the boat for customary refreshments, and our last meal on the top deck.

Guava and Hibiscus juice. 
 


The captain turned the boat back to the South with the prevailing wind at our back, just so we could enjoy the dahabiya under sail for another hour. 


Then it was time to drop the sails, turn back to the North, and finish the relaxing return trip to Edfu, while watching the river flow by. 


We arrived at Esna late and said our goodbyes to Ismail who was eager to rejoin his wife and two sons.  After a week of escorting two Americans up and down the Nile, I was sympathetic. He was one of our favorite guides ever, and that's saying a lot. I insisted on a group shot with Ismail and the crew before he departed.


I thought it appropriate to wear my galibea one more time.


Our last night on board was memorable. After dinner the crew surprised us after dinner with yet another cake and raucous song and dance sendoff.




I'll miss these guys. The dahabiya Nile cruise aboard the Amoura was a great experience and the best way to see Egypt.

Editors Note: I intend to pre-load and schedule automated blog posts with the daily itinerary for our Egypt and Jordan adventure. For those interested, this may be an easy way to follow along. Internet access is always a crapshoot. My hope is that by pre-loading the itinerary it will be easier to add some pics and journal commentary as time and the internet permits. If there are no pics or commentary, you'll just have to wait until we get back. Further!

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