We woke up around 8 o’clock this morning and our plan was to see the sites on the East Bank if the Nile. We were staying on the East Bank, so everything was within walking distance. We headed downstairs and the hostel owners said they would make us breakfast, so we went to an ATM and got some money while they cooked for us. We had a nice breakfast of eggs and Egyptian breads. Then we headed out to the Karnak Temple.
The Karnak Temple was about a 40 min walk from our hostel, and it was very hot, >100 degrees F. We fought off the multiple taxi drivers and horse carriage drivers and eventually found a pathway along the Nile that we walked. It was a well kept area with a nice pathway and lush greenery all around. This area also didn’t have the multiple vendors hassling us for money.
We finally made it to the Karnak Temple and the first thing we saw was rows and rows of tour buses. But we persisted and went inside.
It was a huge temple, and the tourist seemed to just stay in the main area. We almost had the entire outer area of the temple to ourselves. It was a temple built by Amenhotep III and was added on to by several other pharaohs. It had hundreds of large columns with hieroglyphics and was one of our favorite temples so far.
Next, we went to the Mummification Museum. It was a small museum, but it showed the process of mummification and had multiple mummified animals and an ancient mummified high priest.
Our plan was to visit the Temple of Luxor next. But, we had seen so many temples and it was about 107 degrees F outside. So instead of going inside, we just walked by the outside of it. Luckily we were basically able to see the whole thing from the road.
By now, it was about 2 o’clock, so we headed back to the hostel for a little break. We took a quick look at the rooftop terrace on the hostel, and then headed to the room. We had bought some Egyptian cookies from a store on the way home and had a cookie lunch in the room.
Then, we were off to meet up with Saber for our Felucca ride at 4:30pm. The Felucca ride was the highlight of the day. We met Saber easily on the dock and he took us down to his Felucca. We met his brother and his cousin who were going to help sail the boat. I have never been sailing before, but Jay has and he said that Felucca sailing was much different and more difficult than sailing a modern sailboat.
We headed out on the Nile and Saber took out a huge spread of food for us including different meats, rice, and breads.
We ate and then sailed to Banana Island. It was a definitely a tourist attraction, but we got to see a grove of banana trees, try a fresh banana and see some monkeys and crocodiles (that were in cages).
We also drank some beers that Saber had gotten for us in chairs set up along the Nile.
After the beers, we got back in the boat to sail. Saber and his brother even let us captain the boat for a little bit. It was difficult and required a lot of strength. You sat at the end of the boat with your back on an oar attached to the rudder. You had to push or ease up with your back to turn the boat, and if wind came, you had to resist it which was the hardest part. Then you controlled speed with a rope attached to the sail.
I didn’t really know what I was doing, but they didn’t let the sail out til the very end of my captaining experience, so we basically just floated on the river. But now I can saw my first sailing experience was on a Felucca.
Going south up the river was much easier sailing than going north down the river. (That’s why Saber’s brother let us captain going south. Lol). Once we turned around, we were going into the wind and got many more gusts which required much more skill to navigate. We watched a beautiful sunset on the Nile and then Saber and his family expertly docked the boat.
When we got back, Saber had a customer that he had to take out on a motor boat (he makes a living giving boat rides). So Jay and I waited on the Felucca with Saber’s brother until Saber got back.
When Saber returned, we went and sat on the rooftop of his motor boat and finished the night with the last of the beers. We hung out with Saber until about 10:300 pm and then called it a night. Saber had shown us a great time on the river and we were happy to have had that experience our last night in Luxor.