SATURDAY – ROLLIN’ ON THE RIVER We were all gathered down at the felucca at 9 a.m. as arranged. We knew that Captain Eden had over-booked the boat and we’re prepared for an argument but in the end it was quite simple. The 6 of us ended up on the felucca Nice and 7 others ended up on another smaller boat captained by the elusive Captain Chanabu! We set sail at about 9:30 and after stopping to register with the Nile police we were away from the tourist hole of Aswan.
The sun was warm and a cool breeze blew steadily south up the river as we tacked back and forth to catch the best air. Life on the river was easy: a sybaritic routine of lying in the sun, eating fruit and drinking tea. We played cards, read, wrote, and listened to tapes alternating between the captain’s Egyptian noise and our collections of Cold Chisel, Th’ Dudes, Jimmy Barnes, and Guns and Roses.
The sun coasted slowly across the azure sky, reaching its zenith then descending inexorably towards the palm-fringed desert. The last rays cast a lovely pink glow upon the river as fishermen set their nets and stock were herded homeward along the banks. As darkness fell, the stars appeared and as evening drew intonight a lovely yellow moon rose from the desert and began it’s climb into the velvet sky.
The passengers on the other felucca went ashore and sat around a small fire in a pretentious huddle getting stoned on blow [hashish] but the six of us were content to talk aboard our boat as the air cooled and the gentle breeze rocked the water of the river to sleep. Eventually, we too succumbed to it’s rhythmic call and apart from the annoying mosquitoes we spent a comfortable and relaxing night.