The Orton's on the Nile - 2005


A Lie In

Well the afternoon and night went well, nice and relaxing. We saw both the damns. Excuse me one moment - Whoopie!!! I find it hard to get impressed by the modern structures after temple overload, but at least the British dam is a proper earth and brick dam, not just a pile of concrete. (probably poured as much concrete into my loft by now!!!)

It was just another pleasant cruise back towards Luxury now and we had been promised a lie in tomorrow, no temple worth stopping for between here and the locks, although we would have a shuftie at Elephantine island in passing and stop at Lord Kitcheners Island and gasp at his magical botanical display that I thought looked like a drought struck Walsall arboretum. Apparently he had just about one of every species of know tree bunged on the one island for his garden of delights. Guess you have to be a botanical wizard to tell one pine tree from another.

Meanwhile back on the boat, Adam had finally blown up his dolphin float purchased for a cancelled holiday due to dodgy liver. It was quite some size, but as most people had done the sensible thing and gone to bed, he and Luke had the pool more or less to themselves and the dolphin. Actually I think it was supposed to be a killer whale, it was quite large and must have been designed as a replacement for the medieval ducking stools as it was very unstable and Adam spent the best part of three hours rolling off into the pool. However, credit where credit is due, he did master it and he remained the only person to stay afloat on the beast until we reached Sharm.

We sat in the shade drinking tea and beer as the fancy took us and I read up some of the information I had missed on the lighting tours of the temples. I even discovered there were eleven Ramases. Fascinating stuff! Now and then we would be joined by some passing sole who had ventured out onto deck a little earlier than the rest. It was here that we learned of the Ausie womanís adventures. She had made a great sight seeing trip out of a visit to her daughter in Cairo and this was part of it. She did not say much about the son-inlaw, but from experience I noticed the "Iíll dance on his grave" look in her eye and the drop in temperature as she explained she had stopped for two or three days with her daughter but felt in the way.

She too had been to Abu Simbel, but of course with her own private guard and in a taxi that had overtaken most of our coaches and guards getting her to the temple a good hour or so before us. There is an airfield at Abu Simbel, think it was left over from one of Rommel's retreats, it is scarcely recognisable as anything apart from the barbed wire perimeter fence it looks like a bumpy stretch of desert. For once I was glad we had took the coach.

Then we had Sean join us for a while and Bob and as the afternoon drew on and the heat rose most of us dipped in the postage stamp pool for a cooling session. There was some sort of entertainment planed for the night, but I was not overly interested. It was chill out time.

Over dinner, Luke was once again attempting to fold the napkins into the swans and ducks the waiters made without much success. Bob had twigged by now he could get Luke to believe almost anything and count on me to back him up with the most outrageous lies. His wife and daughter consider Luke baiting to be cruel, but Adam kept telling us even Luke wasnít as thick as he pretended.

By now the watermelons and tomatoes were looking especially inviting, but I had promised myself to steer clear of any fruit that may have been washed in local water as every experienced traveller will tell you this is what gives you the dodgy belly. Sod it, I enjoyed the melon and to be fair did not suffer until I started eating fresh tomatoes. They tasted a bit weird anyway, but cool and refreshing. Still it took me two days before I started getting stomach cramps and we were prepared with loads of 'Nocacks' tablets, curiously shaped like a cork. Couple of pills later and I was back on the cakes.

Annette wanted to see what the entertainment was, and as it had got dark we went into the bar for the rest of the night. There was the jeweller from the little onboard shop, working a disco set and the big event was getting the girls up to belly dance with a prize for the best. The young red head danced like she was from the Arabian nights, Vanessa let her self go wild and to my disappointment the Irish lass just gave a few half hearted wiggles. Good fun and enough to keep us amused 'til bed time. The prize, free jug of the horrible jungle juice!!!

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