Luxor Part Five: feluccas on the Nile and an island of bananas

28 July 2014

Since my The Flatmate and I went off to Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple and Luxor Museum yesterday, that made today a pool day. We bumped into the group of guys whose card game we had crashed a couple of days ago and spent the day chatting with them, submerged in the pool, away from the endless heat.

Unfortunately, the day was not quite as relaxing as it sounds – that’s because it was the day I was due to get my law school results. I knew the sensible thing to do would be to wait until I got back home, so that if it was bad it wouldn’t ruin the rest of my trip, but there was absolutely no way I could wait a moment longer than necessary. I thought instead I could just not tell anyone, even The Flatmate, I have the problem of anything that crosses my mind coming out my mouth – so I instead told everyone I befriended. As we all sat in the pool, everyone kept encouraging me to go and check if they had been released. They hadn’t. When I took some time to come back, The Flatmate came to check on me, just in case I was huddled in a ball in the corner of the room sobbing.

As mid-afternoon approached, The Flatmate and I headed out to meet the local guys we had made friends with. In what can only be described as typical timing, that was when I received an email to say they were online – and I didn’t have time to check them.

Since the guys had taken such good care of us, we planned to take them on a felucca ride up the Nile to Banana Island to say thanks. The boat driver was one of their friends and the five of us spent over a hour making very slow progress along the short distance up the river to our destination, due to a distinct lack of wind. At one point we had to have a tow from a motor boat. That is the problem with using a boat that works purely with sails and not an engine.

Frustratingly, we had left our hotel for the centre of town where we hopped on the felucca, only to find out that Banana Island sat directly opposite the hotel, on the other side of the river. We had taken a very long way round.

As we cruised up the river, we tried to keep in the minimal shade provided by the sail on the boat but it was hard. My foot ended up burning so badly that it practically went purple. Thankfully, I realised I could throw my legs over the side and dip my feet in the water to keep cool. The boys kept cool by actually drinking water from the river. The Nile certainly was a lot cleaner than I had anticipated but I was still pretty sure that if The Flatmate and I tried that it would not end well.

Banana Island turned out to be a really great day trip: it was peaceful and calm – the perfect distraction from my impending results. When we finally arrived, we found a few animals in sadly small cages – including a crocodile that had been found in a different part of the river. The rest of our visit involved wandering around the banana trees, munching on dates and collecting fruit. We then all sat and had drinks and bananas at a cafe on the river, as the sun went down. It was beautiful.

On the way back, we were heading in the same direction as the current so the ride was much, much quicker and soon enough we were back at the hotel. Now I could get my results … and it was good news! We celebrated by getting some spaghetti bolognese delivered to us by room service – we know how to party – before meeting the boys from our hotel at the bar for cocktails and cards. We hadn’t planned on having a late one as we had a trip to Cairo organised for the next day. It was going to be an early start for The Flatmate and I but, since we were celebrating, you can’t really blame us for staying out a tad longer than planned.

Read about the rest of my trip:


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