Back home.

Well that was an adventure, to say the least!

Our original plan was to loaf about Aswan today, and take the teatime train back home to Luxor. However, that would have entailed leaving the Zekrayaat at 07.00 and being in Aswan all day without ready access to a clean toilet and shower facilities, not something which we really fancied! So, we asked to have our train tickets changed to last night, and caught the 19.30 from Aswan which got us home by about 23.00. (Too late to clart on with the blog, I'm afraid!)

Here we are though, another day and raring to go; I've titled all the photographs and now we're getting down to the Nitty Gritty.

After mooring for the night just south of Kom Ombo, we sailed on to Daraw in order to visit the Camel Market there. Abdullah had promised me something I would like, as a means of transport! We had no idea what he was on about, but while we were watching the crew tie up to the walls etc on the bank; we could'nt help but notice the Tuk-Tuks flying backwards and forwards along the road. Sure enough that was our surprise!

All I can say about these queer little contraptions is "I WANT ONE!!!!!"

The Camel Market is a fair distance away from the river, so we were quite a while on our Tuk-Tuk, weaving in and out of the rest of the traffic and scaring the living daylights out of anyone who was foolish enough to get in our way. It was absolutely magic! Between the main town and the market, the road snaked through the fields, where I saw the "olde world" way of ploughing:

I was surprised to see bales of hay, apparently just lying in the street! I later realised that this was for the animals which were "corralled" behind the walls all along the market's approach road. Thursday isn't actually camel selling day, it seemed to be more goats, sheep and donkeys. Nevertheless, there were camels aplenty for photographing. Not exactly pretty, more intriguing, wouldn't you agree?

Their camel's eyebrows reminded Freda of our long departed Chancellor of the Exchequer; Dennis Healey!

The bargaining for the goats etc got quite intense on occasion. I thought that one bloke was going to lose his temper when his "opponent" (who was seated while he himself was on his hunkers [haunches]) grabbed the sleeve of his galabaya to stop him getting up and leaving. They were shouting at each other very viciously! I walked on and snapped this next one where it was a little more civilised.

Abdullah then led us out of the actual market area, just a minute up the road, to have a look at the place where they check the animals for disease etc before they are put up for sale. A truck was being loaded with camels for their onward journey. It was a lovely 6-legged Merc Actros.

This next pic reminds me of making sure that the "Wrinklies" were safely belted in for their coach excursion to Scarborough!!!! Only we weren't allowed to hit them with big sticks when they wouldn't sit down!

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey back to the boat, thought I'd snap this well loaded pick-up truck for you on the way!

Back on board, we set about our arduous tasks of eating, snoozing, reading and chatting, until we moored on the west bank so that our Dutch companions could have a stroll through one of the local villages with Abdullah. Freda and I carried on with our aforementioned tasks by ourselves, very difficult work in the afternoon heat!
We hadn't been there long when the local "likely lads" arrived and spread their wares out on the small riverside beach next to our dahabiya.

There were about six or seven such displays along the short stretch of sand, all with the same sort of handicrafts on show. The boys, while they awaited our companions return, decided to have a swim and play in the cool water:

After a long wait (but after a lot of fun as well) the Dutch didn't buy!

From there, we sailed on up to the very picturesque Aswan Bridge, where we moored for the night.

It was still light, so the Dutch couple went for a walk along the banks, among the lush palms and trees etc interspersed by stretches of sand dune. It was idyllic. Freda and I opted to stay aboard and ordered tea in the shade on the sundeck, that was more to our idea of idyllic! The young men, who made up the crew, decided to play football on the sandy area just off from the boat. (They must be slightly "touched" I think!) After our tea, we packed up and tidied the suite so that we could take a few pictures before we left.

For info on this boat and her sister ship the "Orient" copy and paste the following link:

Six o'clock came around too soon, and we said our farewells to the crew and boarded the tug for our lift to the side of the bridge and our waiting tranport to the railway station in Aswan.
I snatched a last quick photo of the dahabiya as we left her behind with mixed emotions! (Cue: Frank Sinatra, "It's so nice, to go travelling, but it's oh, so nice to come home!"

The journy to the station was uneventful, although I couldn't remember travelling along that particular road, which took us into Aswan, before. There were some very picturesque outlying villages, perched on the hillsides.

I thought that the carriage of the train was going to be at Abu Simbel, it seemed to be miles along the platform! We had dinner on the train, which consisted of a half chicken (each) mashed potato and roast potato, along with a bit of salad (uggh) a bun, some cheese, a piece of basboosa (cake soaked in golden syrup) and a bottle of water. What I ate was absolutely delicious, and all for 45le each.
The last picture of the trip is of the first class carriage as we left it at Luxor station.

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