Day 11 – 17km
Start: Sara Hotel Aswan
Finish: Middle of Lake Nasser on Ferry
We were back at the camp by the football stadium by 7 the next morning. It was then a question of hurry up and wait. We only had a 17km ride today – to the ferry docks to catch the ferry to Wadi Halfa. First we waited for everybody to arrive. Then we waited for everybody who had camped to have breakfast. There was a little shop by the camp where you could order breakfast and they would fetch it. It took well over an hour for people to be served. Like many of the shops here they will not say to any request. It doesn’t matter whether they have what you want or not. They will sit you down, say no problem and then rush off in search of whatever it is you asked for. And so you wait. Then we had to wait for out police escort. To get to the ferry port we had to cross the both Aswan dams. No pictures, heavily militarised. It was about 9 before the police showed up. And then we were off in escorted convoy.
We got to the ferry around 11. It looked like an old tramp cargo boat. Not large. There was an upper deck with about 20 cabins. We took them all over. Three people were assigned to each cabin. There were two bunks in each cabin. This meant that one of the three would have to sleep on or below deck. The stories we had heard from previous years sounded pretty dire. They load the boat to bursting with people and goods and then they let 200 more people on. This year we must have been lucky. It was crowded but not as bad as that. The cargo was everywhere, willy nilly – everything form washing machines to satellite tv decoders to coffee machines to ghetto blasters.
We left by around 5pm – once again, ahead of expectation. We had been told that it usually didn’t leave until 8pm or later. Lake Nasser was perfectly still. We motored along at about 15 knots. It was a beautiful evening.
I had a cabin with Alex and Andy. Andy pulled the short straw and moved up on the top deck to look for a place to sleep. Alex had the lower bunk; I had the top bunk. It was a very small cabin and apart from ourselves we had to stuff into it all of our bags. But it had a porthole and when we opened it we had a nice fresh breeze. We slept well.