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Christmas Eve Fun on The Nile

Today we are supposed to visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu. Instead we are stuck outside of Edfu because we are running a half day behind schedule. The boat stops along the bank and the guides arrange buses to drive us the 45 minutes to Edfu. The military and tourist police are all there and an argument erupts.

Some Australian/Egyptian people are translating for us non-Arabic speakers. They explain that we must go in convoy with the military but it was not arranged the day before. After a couple of hours waiting for the talks to continue the manager of the boat and some of his goons go to speak to the military officials. They are obviously going to exchange some baksheesh (bribes) to see if we can continue with our day trip. They arrive back and with no luck. Obviously they didn't offer enough money and we cannot pass.

We board the boat again and I get changed into my swimmers and shorts and go upstairs to relax. I sit in the sun for the rest of the day watching the tourist police and military patrol the area of land where our boat has docked. There are also some dogs who are hanging around hoping to get fed with the kitchen scraps. Most of us give them our chicken from our lunch packs so they don't starve. They had obviously been beaten though because they were very timid and frightened by any quick movement we made.

Well the rest of the day was relaxing and beautiful in the sun. Unfortunately due to the delay in seeing the temple, we are now a full day behind schedule. The boat is docked until the late afternoon because we have to wait for our passage into the lock at Esna. It is around 3pm as we enter the lock and then make our way down the Nile to Edfu.

The sunset is amazing and most of us are upstairs enjoying nature's spectacular Christmas Eve gift. The colours are a myriad of blues, pinks, and oranges. Just incredible. As the sun sets the sky reveals its carpet of stars that are just like diamonds in the sky. Just a magical way to spend Christmas Eve. The dinner we have is quite good.

A gala Christmas Eve function. Most of us are dressed just like tourists in khakis etc. No use in packing anything too good for Egypt. We enjoy delicious roast turkey and rice, meat and roast potatoes, salad, seafood and dessert. A pretty good feed. I don't stick to caution and eat everything because I am so hungry. I will have to suffer the consequences if something does happen.

After dinner, a group of us goes ashore at Edfu to have some tea and for a walk after such a big meal. We have a traditional drink that is made from beans. I don't particularly like it. I am invited to join some guys playing dominoes which is a good way to pass some time and talk to the locals. I join them for 30 minutes and try and learn the rules. I finally master them and win my last game before retiring back to the boat with the other guests. A really nice way to spend the day. I arrive back in my room to realise its now Christmas.


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