All photos by Nick and Dariece Swift
As we loaded the final case of beer onto our quaint felucca boat, excitement filled the air. This would be our floating home for the next four days! As the sail was hoisted by the two boatmen, we laid back, gazed out at the calm waters ahead, and got ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Now, this wasn't exactly the boat we were supposed to be on. Us and our four other friends had met up with our captain and the owner of the company the night before to discuss the details of the trip, to check out the boat to make sure it was sufficient, and to meet the crew as well. Everything was perfect. We were given a menu for the food we would receive each of the four days, we were able to walk on the boat and have a look around (she was gorgeous!) and we got along very well with the crew; we even had tea and snacks together that night.
The morning when we set off from Aswan, the boat that we were brought to was completely different. It had a sad-looking sail and was about a quarter of the size. The crew that we had met the night before went from being four men, to two, and in fact, we had never met these two guys. The "captain" from the previous night waved to us from the shoreline and there was nothing we could do about it.
We had dreamed of seeing the Nile River since we were in high school, so we weren't going to let any con artists ruin it for us. Even though the boat was small and shabby, the teenage boy and the elderly man crewing it were very sweet and did their best to make us happy. And although the food was average at best (and there was no menu in sight), we were in good company and the scenery was spectacular.
There are many rock tombs and meticulously carved temples along the shores of the river, and although we had seen many temples during our time in Egypt, we were looking forward to seeing these virtually untouched ruins. First up was Kom Ombo, which is a temple dedicated to the crocodile god and the falcon god. In fact, many mummified crocodiles have been found in the vicinity!
As much as we enjoyed Kom Ombo, the best temple was definitely saved for last, and on our fourth day, we visited the Temple of Horus in Edfu. Due to the fact that this site was buried in sand until 200 years ago, they remain the best-preserved ruins in all of Egypt! Very impressive indeed.
Visiting the ancient temples was a definitely a highlight of our trip down the Nile, but it was the "in-between" moments that we cherish the most. We'll never forget swimming in the river, enjoying some of the most incredible sunsets ever, visiting small villages and stopping in the middle of nowhere to enjoy freshly roasted coffee and sheesha pipe on the banks of the river.
Our crew (who also didn't know of our previous arrangement with the first "captain") were genuinely sorry for how we were treated and even went out of their way to stop at every village to try to find chicken for us, as was promised on our menu! They were accommodating, warm and kind.
We think back on our adventures on the Nile with very fond memories, despite being scammed. Travel is what you make of it, and rather than being upset for four days, we decided to make the most of it and ended up having an incredible time.
For more information on sailing the Nile River in a felucca boat, have a look at our articles here:
Sailing The Nile River: A Four Day Felucca Journey, Part #1
Sailing The Nile River: A Four Day Felucca Journey, Part #2
Budget Backpacking Guide to Egypt
Topics From This Article to Explore