We started the morning sailing down the Nile in a felucca, a traditional wooden sailing vessel of the Nile. It was so quiet. Our Nubian driver was unique and one needs a photo to describe him. To date it is hard to believe that we are in Africa. The weather is absolutely beautiful. Tonight up on deck of the Prince Abbas, looking over Lake Nasser, it was actually cool enough that you could have used a sweater. With the full moon, wow what a picture coming up over the lake. This is after watching a fabulous sunset. However, there is no internet here for three days so you can imagine Tom’s jitters.
After our boat ride, we saw the Temple of Isis and were able to shop in the Nubian market. The Nubians come from South Africa and are very friendly. Their English is not as good as most Egyptians, so the price is marked and there is no bargaining, and I like it much better. No shoving something in your face and yelling, “One dollar.” We then traveled to the Aswan High Dam started in the year 1960. The dam established the 300 mile long Lake Nasser. The lake provided irrigation flooding of the Nile thus ending the regular summer floods. The scope of the project included the relocation of 24 major historical monuments. The Temple of Isis is one such temple. Today the dam stands as a miracle of modern construction, containing 18 times the material used in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Now that the flooding is regulated, people have to use fertilizer because the soil is no longer as fertile as it was in the days before the dam. If you screw with nature, it always lets you know.
“God is great, beer and wine are good, and people are crazy/unique.” The words to a neat country and western song seem to fit our traveling companions. I am writing this mostly for my own memories of the trip. Let’s see there are Bob and Uta. She is from Germany and he worked for the CIA. Bob is almost deaf due to an illness, so is quite loud but has a great sense of humor. Uta loves to garden and Bob says he lives in a greenhouse. Very nice people. They are traveling with his sister, Karen, and her husband Jim. Jim is extremely quiet. Never says a word. Karen was a school teacher and now subs. Jim and Karen were both CIA and have lived in lots of interesting places. Bob and Karen’s parents were CIA and she went to high school while the family spent four years in Istanbul.
Then there is the dermatologist, Linda. She is a hypochondriac. She is a walking drug store. Tells you about her botox treatments. I must say she doesn’t have any wrinkles, so maybe I will have to try some when I return. No, guess that just isn’t me. She is traveling with her sister, Odette, who is a Mennonite. Mennonites are a radical form of Baptist characterized by the simplicity of life, pacifism and nonresistance. Not certain how this all fits together because Linda is a retired Army doctor, so she certainly is not a Mennonite. Odette is married to a Porto Rican. Linda is married to a retired dentist, who likes to hike but not travel to exotic places, so the two sisters travel. There last trip was to China and they rave about it. So maybe China will go on our list of places to travel.
Then there are the two dentists and wives. Richie and Fran – New York Jews and they didn’t have to say a word before one could tell. Fran complains about everything. How in the world can she put on makeup, because the mirror is all wrong, the toilet paper is too hard, and it is hot, etc. To me it isn’t really that hot, more like Florida/Africa perfect weather. Their friends are from Atlanta – Dennis and Marsha. Dennis looks like a skinny Einstein. His hair is long and all over the place. He runs marathons and one afternoon did crunches for two hours because there was no place to run.
Then there is Dolph, Adolph, but hated the name so dropped the “A” and his traveling companion, Florence. Dolph is 83 and Florence is 82. He always wanted to travel and was going to travel after he retired, but his wife died, so never traveled with her. You can tell talking to him how he laments that fact. Now he has been everywhere. They are having difficulty with some of the places we visit, and have missed a several stops. Both have also suffered from Pharaoh’s revenge as it is called. Tom and I have decided to do all of the non-handicap friendly places while we can still motivate around ok.
Then there is Jim and Ann from Los Vegas. They are just weird. Some of us think they are CIA, but Tom and I think witness protection program. They travel everywhere, and don’t even have a camera. I have never been on a trip where people didn’t have a camera. They stay away from the group as much as possible, and never eat dinner. Now that is strange because they are certainly not skinny. We have sort of decided that they drink dinner.
Then there is fat Linda, a 52 year old nurse. She probably weighs 300 pounds and of course has great difficulty getting around. She is just obnoxious. We all figure she is trying to fit in but does so in such a detestable manner that no one likes to be with her. If she would just be normal, whatever that is, she would be fine. Example, she goes up to Jim and Ann who were having a beer after coming aboard, and asked them why he was having a beer already and that was probably his second, right? It was the manner and tone used that was so bad.
Anyway that is the group and I am sure they think Tom and I are crazy too. We know we are.