08.05.2010 42 °C
I was thinking of titling my next novel, “Death on The Nile,” but someone beat me to it. Therefore, I will call it, “Life on The Nile,” and I will write poetically about the languid river that meanders roughly four thousand miles through Kenya, Uganda, Zaire, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and Ethiopia before crossing the Sahara in Egypt and dissipating across a fertile delta into the Mediterranean. It is claimed to be the world’s longest river by some, but Amazonians may dispute that.
Here is Sheila looking for a Nile crocodile in Abu Simbel …
And here is my first attempt to immortalize the river in a haiku …
Equatorial Africa’s tropical waters. Turn oases green.
O.K., maybe I should stick to prose or just let our photos speak for themselves…
Few rivers in the world have as much an impact on a nation as the Nile. Without the Nile, Egypt would be completely arid. Annual rainfall is negligible while temperatures frequently top off in the high 40s.
All life here revolves around the Nile: all significant habitation, all agriculture, most of the transportation and, of course, the fishing. We have had delicious local fish throughout our trip and have seen some monsters leaping out of the gently swirling waters. Here is one of the local fishers!
The relative coolness of the river is a major draw to the millions of tourists who flock here from all over the world – tourists like us from countries where the mercury runs out at 35 – and in cities like Aswan, and Luxor, the banks of the Nile are crammed with hotels seeking relief from the desert heat for their guests. Some of the pushiest hotels manage to shoulder the competition aside and keep the river to themselves. This is the view from our hotel’s pool in Abu Simbel …
No Egyptian package tour is complete without a Nile cruise but buyers should beware. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of ships like this ply the river.
While not all Nile cruisers are aging, slab-sided germ factories belching clouds of black smoke like this – some are.
These traditional feluccas, on the other hand, are entirely friendly to the environment.
The feluccas are here purely to amuse the tourists, and as we walk along the riverfront promenades we are constantly approached by felucca skippers who want to take us for a ride – for a very special price, (because we are Canadian). But all prices are actually based on the prospective client’s ability to pay. Here is the formula they use: Pick a number from 1 to 100. Add enough to feed your wife, 3 kids and the family camel for a week. Then multiply that figure by the number of stars of the hotel where your prospective customer is staying.
P.S. We are now in Luxor and we’re definitely not telling anyone where we are staying