Wednesday, October 17, 2012

N is for Nile

After our East African safari a few years, we flew up to Egypt for a week. We had chosen July to visit Kenya as it is winter in the southern hemisphere. The weather was balmy and beautiful without getting excessively hot.
Had we been thinking straight, we would have realized that going to Egypt at that same time - the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere - was a dreadful idea for someone like myself who dislikes the heat. With temperatures hitting well over  40 degrees Celsius, and higher again in places like the Valley of the Kings, I was barely functional.
            In spite of the discomfort, Egypt captivated me. How could it not?
Flying from Nairobi to Cairo, we arranged a sleeper train to take us  to Aswan. After a quick flight to Abu Simbel, we boarded our small boat for the cruise to Luxor. 

Of the 82 million people who call Egypt home, the vast majority of them live along the banks of the River Nile, where the country's only arable land is to be found.
 This verdant strip covers 40,000 square kilometres, rising south of the Equator and flowing through northeastern Africa to drain into the Mediterranean Sea.

The family goats 
are nimble at 
making their 
way along the 

Many boats sail the river daily, shepherding goods and tourists from place to place.

The traditional wooden felucca is to be seen all along the length of the Nile.
As we slowly cruised the river, life on the banks went on as usual: craftsmen plied their trade, cattle went to market, women washed clothing at the river, and children played noisily along the water's edge, their joyful laughter the soundtrack for a voyage I will not soon forget. 

Entrance to the Valley of the Kings

I am linking today's post to the wonderful ABC Wednesday même.
Drop by to see more takes on the letter 'N'...


Penelope Puddlisms said...

The nimble goats are very impressive! As seen through your photos, living at the heart of history in a land where communities gather at the river seems so much more interesting than getting together at a mall. :)

Joy said...

I enjoyed the trip down the Nile. I'm thinking of going next year.
Joy - ABC Team

Lmkazmierczak said...

Nicely exotic and exciting....lovely sequence of photos♫♪

Reader Wil said...

Oh dear! Your photos are really wonderful. In November 2008 my sister and I also. Made a boat trip on the Nile and that was great. It was a pity that there were several dead cows in the river. Egypt is a colourful country. Thanks for your post! Have a great week.
Wil, ABC Team.

Roger Owen Green said...

these are nice, but 100 degree F weather isn't for me either!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh what a lovely voyage this was, all down the river.......quite an assortment of dwellings, all mixed together. Your photos are, as always, incredible.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

So exotic! Too bad about the 40+ degree heat though.

VioletSky said...

Not being a fan of extreme heat, I sympathize!
but what wonderful photos.

Pat said...

The heat sounds extremely uncomfortable, but your photos are magnificent! I love the verdant green in photos 15, 16 and 17, and also the ancient looking structures in photo 18. I would love to visit this ancient country some day. I have heard that one should not even put a hand into the Nile River because it is toxic with pollution, unfortunately. A friend of ours came back to the US from a 10-day stay in Egypt with a lung infection from the air pollution, unfortunately. He said that oil refineries pour out toxic fumes 24/7. Was the air pollution that bad when you were there? Sad. I know it's partly because they don't have the funding to keep the air and water clean.

Katy Cameron said...

Another fab tour, thank you! I've been thinking of you the last few days as we scrambled around Mesa Verde :o)

dan garrett said...

It's a dream destination of mine to tour Egypt. That place is full of interesting history that captivates me. The Nile River is the seat of civilization. It is where everything started.
Perth Wedding Photographer