The Orton's on the Nile - 2005

Food & Briefing

Food and Briefing

Ok, all scrubbed up and cooled down again it was time for yet more food. Dinning room was still fairly empty even with the 12 or so Dutch group present. We had everyone seated on the starboard side with a view of the Nile and still plenty of room.

We were seated with Bob and his family again, you could almost see Jasmine cringe has Adam sat next to her again, leaving me and Luke on the side and Annette as a buffer zone between me and Mini Me. Luke ate or tried to eat just about everything in sight, got to be one to watch for future eating contests. Adam moaned about most of the meal again, but even he liked the main course and cakes for pudding.

Best thing was that with the ship being cooled you could drink a nice cold beer, but still there was plenty of water to quench thirst. Strange only a few hours of the arid conditions and cold water was tasting mighty good.

A little about the ships. They were all high decked and almost of identical structure, judging by the ones we walked through to get to Sherry Boat. They must all have been low bowed if not flat bottomed because they docked in some pretty shallow waters. In design they looked pretty much like the old riverboat steamers that relieved Khartoum, in fact when we were down at Aswan there was one ship that was still using the old tail paddles straight from 'Huckleberry Finn' tales although it had clearly long since been converted from steam power to diesel.

All ships had a small swimming pool on the penultimate deck, about the size of Andrew's front lawn. You were never going to get much swimming done, but it was a good place to cool off in before going on top deck for a quick blast of 45 degrees of drying power. The top deck was the sun lounge deck, although there were plenty of chairs and sun beds around the pool, this was the place to fry to a crisp in the shortest space of time and it had a string hammock that allowed you to be basted with a cris- cross pattern.

We were moving at last. Heading down river to wards the next day's adventures. Strangely enough it would be more temples and Alabaster carvings. It was very peaceful, rather like sitting on a giant JC barge on a huge canal in a summer heat wave. Any dead dogs or strangled cats were way out of sight and the banks of the Nile were lined with the GCE geography floodplain fields and donkeys galore. Should point out that the agriculture is now dependant on pumping water up to these fields and fertilizers as the Nile no longer floods due to the Aswan damn, but you get the picture.

So it was time for our briefing. We wandered down into the shadows of the bar and tried the free drink. Looked ok, but tasted fowl. Strange red berry drink, never caught the name of it, too many people spluttering and gasping the stuff back into their glasses when they told us what it was called.

Anyway, Mohammed sat there with a cheerful grin on his face and said he had some bad news and some really bad news. Mohammed by the way was a professor from the Cairo University, but like the majority of Egyptians made more money from the tourists as guides or simply taxi driving. The bad news: "You may have noticed the ship is fairly empty apart from the Dutch group. This is because a party of 65 Germans were delayed, missed their connecting flight and will have to catch another boat. We don't know why, but I am sure we can manage without them." He paused here for the cheering to stop. (Ah, all that crap in the prologue makes sense now!!! They have suffered the curse of the Orton's)

Really bad news: "Tomorrow we have another early start in order to get to the temple before the rush and before it gets too hot, but not too early, we will leave at 0600 hours, so you can have a wake up call at 0500hours giving you plenty of time for your breakfast."

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Copyright 2005 D.J.Orton and A.G.Morris