After our convoy back from Abu Simbel, we freshened up, packed our bags and jumped onboard our new home for the next few nights, a felucca. Basically, a traditional wooden sail boat with one big mattress for all of us to sleep on. A swingers delight, so to speak. But, it was still early days, so instead we found our own personal space and chilled out as the crew got ready to sail. Time to get technical. The spinnaker was raised and we tacked left and then tacked right as we sailed downriver toward Luxor. It was about our third tack starboard (we have no clue what we are talking about) when there was a loud snap and we saw the white splinters fall into the water behind us. Nothing was said and the skipper tried to keep a straight face, but as we ran into the bank of the longest river on Earth we all realised, our sail boat was a sail boat no more. Thankfully, we had a support boat equipped with not only a toilet on board but also a motor and a tow rope.
We made good ground that day after the top half of the main mast was loaded on to the support vessel and we “sailed” in a direct line to our stop for the night. We were just getting ready for a well earned beer but our desires were shattered, due to Ramadan. There was a thinker on board, so a bottle of vodka and some wine was opened before a drinking game of the aptly named Pyramids. If there were any barriers up within the group, they were definitely lowered around the same time as one of the group members pants were also dropped. He will remain nameless – Just because we do not want to mentIon any naMes. (there is a clue there)
Here goes our one, and probably only, ever hashtag. Should we put the # symbol before the word hashtag? Crap, we are not cool. Anyway… a drinking game rule was created and it goes by the name – #inmypants.
We headed to bed under the giant mosquito net as the sounds of Mother Nature echoed around us (fish jumping, cows mooing, beers secretly being added to an esky) all as Nile flowed beneath us.
We woke early as the sun rose and shone upon our weary little eyes before some breakfast and a walk to a traditional Nubian Village. We returned to our not-so-sailboat where we waited for our departure. Meals were included on the felucca, but we were slightly worried when we were given a fishing line, a small hook and some bread. We came close to feasting like kings when I hooked what had to be a Nile Perch but as it goes, it was the one that got away. It kept us amused for a while, but we realised the fish were also fasting for Ramadan, so we packed up the line and headed up the Nile.
There had been some repairs in the night to our ill-fated mast, so it was decided we would be towed while the sail was opened up and we could then sail ourselves. As we approached Aswan Bridge, there was a two man effort to adjust the mast. As we past underneath it, there was a noise and the now, all to familiar sight, of wooden debris hitting the water behind us. We got towed from there to our next destination. A sandy beach for a swim. Beforehand, there was talk of Nile Crocodiles, organisms swimming up body parts and what can be usually found in the waters of Africa – Poo. We were assured there was none of the kind as we were in a fast flowing section. We were hesitant, but as one of the crew dived in, we just had to follow. It took about two seconds for everyone to turn into children again. We would run to the top of the burning hot sand dune and sprint into the water, tripping over and swallowing all the poo and parasites. At least they didn’t enter our bodies in their usual way!
We had some lunch (tuna, not my catch) before we were pushed out into the centre of the river and we had one last attempt of sailing. You could call it sailing, but we basically were pushed down river in a semi-controlled spiral. It had all the attributes of sailing except for the sail, but we enjoyed a few beers and played some cards. There was one more thing we had to do that day. Go swimming again.
We pulled up at another beach where all the men turned into boys again by jumping off the top of the big boat twenty times a couple of times. Swimming and jumping kept us all amused for a few hours before some dinner and another effective game of pyramids. The crew started a bonfire on the beach where we sat listening to songs before being joined by the crew of another boat who added their musical talent with genius lyrics such as “She’ll be bitten by mosquitos when she comes..” We reciprocated by showing our off our talents with a rendition of Crazy frog and an Australian’s perspective of the Haka. Then, one of the group adJusted hIs wAistband and almost dropped his Man pantiES. (there is that clue, again) Thankfully, it was only his shirt in the end, as apparently he wasn’t wearing #anypants.
We continued our party back on the boat with more drinking games and a midnight swim to celebrate the 30th birthday of our own little Egyptian Pharaoh, Haytham. In the words of our amazing Captain, the one and only Mohammed, the couple of days we had on the felucca was Vvvvveeeeerrryyyy Gooooooood!!!