Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Crocodile Nile

After another battle of fending off the swarms of baksheesh (Egpytian term for tip, in other words give me some $ for standing here looking sad at you, you rich westerner) hunters, my new traveling buddies (a kiwi named Paul & his Spanish girlfriend Maria) & I finally arrived into Luxor. To my surprise it wasn't my back that was sore from the 11 hour overnight train ride (which is a great sign for my future overland travels), but my groin from the 3 hour camel ride 2 days prior. One of the many joys of exiting my 20's I suppose :)

I don't want to mis-lead you with the title, because I (fortunately or unfortunately) didn't have a dramatic run in with a massive croc while cruising the Nile (Steve Irwin style - RIP). In fact the only wild animal I've seen thus far in Africa has been a heard of cats that tend to convene on the temple sites.

Truth be told there really aren't any crocs in the Egpyt portion of the Nile. They have all have been "rounded up" and put on the southern portion the Lake Nasar Dam which leads into Sudan. At least that's what we were told while our Felucca Captain was attempting to persuade us to go for a dip. Crocs or not I opted out of taking a few laps in the Nile regardless of the 100+ temps. It might have been the worry of running into the one croc that slipped the round up sessions, or it might have been the fear of a much smaller and more deceptive creature known as a guinea worm that really prevented my plunge into the Nile. It was either that or a lovely case of schistosomiasis (AKA Bilharzia). I'll leave most the details of how these fun filled parasites work within the human body up your imagination (or feel free to do a quick google on these bad boys), but let's just say that a common point of entry involves one's urethra. Anyone up for a dip now?

Despite the lack of crocs sitings my overnight trip down the Nile from Aswan to Luxor was rather relaxing. In between drifting off to sleep, smoking the tobacco filled (for those of you concerned about a potential career ending drug test upon my return from Africa:) shisha (aka hookah) and just lying there in the sun sweating my ass off, the random memory of cruising down a slip-in-slide (which had the branded name of Crocodile Nile) popped into my head. After that memory came floating into my knoggin' I was sure to double check that it was actully tobacco that we were smoking. In fact most of my trip down the Nile to Southern Egypt was pretty sweet. Some of the highlights included...

- having lunch @ the owner of our hotel's house with his famil
- having his 4 kids (ages 5, 8, 15, 19) constantly laugh while pointing at me repeating the word "Shamsia, Shamsia" which I eventually was told referred to my hair and translates to "umbrella". I guess a haircut might in order.
- Touring the Valley of the Kings and Queens as well as the Temples of Karnack in Luxor.
- Discovering (not through sampling - thank you very much) the numerous forms of Viagra that the Egyptians have managed to create. The obvious pill form, spray, cream, tea, and last but certainly not least suppositories...the Viagra market is huge over here...hehe.
- Visiting a steroid induced version of Ramses II's tomb/statue in Abu Simbel. This cat definitely had to of had a complex of some sort.
- Hanging with a great crew of travelers at our hotels in both Luxor and Aswan!

I don't know if it was the 6 1/2 hours in a van packed with 25 people or the 3AM wake up call (for those of you who have experienced my morning habits know that this is an extremely painful for both me and anyone else who unfortunately encounters me:), but (and it pains me to admit to this) I began to suffer from temple fatigue. I know it sounds ridiculous, but my days of looking at a bunch a rocks with rivers, snakes, birds, tigers and feet (aka hieroglyphics) written them are numbered as are my days in Egypt as I am back in Cairo working through the logistics of traveling to Ethiopia. It's been great but I think its time to dig deeper into Africa.


Blogger TORRIE KUWANA said...

After sleeping in your bed for 3 solid days and nights, I finally decided you were not coming home. Now I refuse to walk into your room, let alone look inside when passing by. Last week I decided that it was too much stress for me to take and so I decided that I would punish you by peeing on the carpet. I think it made me feel better.
I hope you found a nice big cat to cuddle up with at night. Until your return, I will be laying alone, shivering.

May 29, 2007 at 2:58 PM  

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