Firstly, we'll have a little tour of the boat, here's our cabin:
The public areas are all pretty well as you would expect; the lounge/bar has a small dance floor with tables and chairs around it, then more comfortable sofa type, seating with lower tables, around the outer edge. All very pleasant and practical.
It's here that guests enjoy their afternoon tea (and English cake) whilst sailing. When we were on the boat (early May) the temperature was perfect for lounging in the shade whilst gliding along through a blissful breeze and taking in the fabulous scenery. Mind you, several of our companions (although, to be fair, they had come from the damp, cold drizzle of England!) spent most of their free time either baking in the sun or cooling of in the pool.
On the deck below us was the "commercial district" of the boat, a shop selling costumes for the inevitable "Galabaya Party", jewellery and various souvenirs.
There's also a massage room, I had a quick nosey in there; the massage table is just visible in the inner sanctum.
In the reception area, the various excursions and visits are displayed each day on the notice boards, along with meal times, optional excursions and evening entertainments, sailing times etc. Invaluable information!
At the stern, there are several life-rafts stacked:
The Nile has remained, largely, unchanged for many centuries. Fishermen can still be seen casting their nets as they would have done in Biblical times:
Working in the fields, which often reach right down to the river, hasn't changed much either, although they now tend to use motorised transport along with the poor little donkeys. Here's a shot of the "threshing floor" of one farmer:
I believe that ferries of this type are common all over Africa, this one operates to the North of Esna.
The banks of the Nile are constantly fascinating, I took innumerable pictures of just the palms and various trees as we slid by them, gently waving to us as we passed. At one point, I noticed an idyllic scene comprising a small family group strolling along the bankside among some lush grass and beautiful trees. I took up the camera, switched it on, and then set the controls for a "scenic" "daytime" shot
and turned back to find that Dad had moved away from the group to to busy himself with a "bodily function"!
We also came upon a boatyard, and it contained the very vessel that would suit us down to the ground, if my Mother won the National Lottery and gave us a share, that is. What do you think, would our guests pay a few bob extra to sail up the Nile on her?
Then you can spy something like the following, in the distance, which grows in it's mystery as it becomes more plainly into view:
Or, like me, you can gaze in awe at the different colours (caused by the light and shade?) displayed in the rocks and mountains along the river banks, sometimes they appear as mountains of purest gold!!! Honestly!
We were next to one of the Sonesta boats:
Here we are, actually in the lock, with a crewman shouting instructions to the pilot, hoping that we don't scrape the boat along the concrete side of the lock.
I'm sorry about the reflection of the interior of the boat, but the doors were locked shut, and it's the only way I could get the picture.