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Christmas on The Nile

Christmas Day and I awaken at 6am. We will have a full day today because of the need to fit two visits to temples and a long stretch of sailing when normally it would be only one visit per day. We leave for the Temple of Horus at Edfu by horse drawn carriage. I have managed to get a free lift with an Asian tour guide and his group from Hong Kong. It would have cost me US$10 if I had gone with the other group. These tours were all supposed to be included in my cruise package and I can't wait to talk to my travel agent in Aswan.

Horus Temple is excellent. Very well preserved and with the early morning light from a beautiful day a great way to spend Christmas morning. I give mum and dad a quick ring to wish them Merry Christmas and continue back to the boat with my new friend Boris from Hong Kong. He decides to tell me all about his girlfriend of nine years but that he also has many other girlfriends as well. He then asks me out for a drink that night. I am not too keen but feel a bit obliged because of the freebie but in the end I say no and make up a story that I have to be up early the next day.

I get back to the boat by 9am and we set sail for Kom Ombo which is at least 6 hours away. I get changed back into my swimmers and lay up on the deck. I am thoroughly enjoying the view. The Nile slowly takes us past its banks full of vegetation and crops that support the population. It is so relaxing I fall asleep but wake sporadically.

We finally reach Kom Ombo at 3.30pm. We disembark but I find myself so tired that I last only fifteen minutes at the temple. I take some pictures to say that I have been there and done it and go back to the boat. The exhaustion is overwhelming and all I can do is rest in my room.

After 15 minutes I realise that I am too tired to sleep and go back upstairs for afternoon tea and my last Nile Cruise sunset. It really is my favourite part of the day. When the sun has gone I retreat back to my cabin and the sanctuary of my bed.

I doze on and off and wake to the sound of the dinner bell that calls passengers to the dining room. I turn up at dinner all disheavelled and with rosy red cheeks and nose. I have caught a bit too much sun over the last couple of days. After dinner I realise that we are heading into Aswan and I go upstairs on deck to see what the town looks like.

The view from the deck is wonderful. The lights from the highrises and other boats that have already docked make the town look very modern. It is not until the next day I investigate the town on foot that I realise that this is all a facade.


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