“So let me get this right. We are sailing down the crocodile infested River Nile on a tiny sailboat for two days. We have to camp in the sand dunes. And there is NO toilet or washing up facilities on board?”
Okay first impressions weren’t great.
Don’t get me wrong, we love to camp. Plus I love water and have basically grown up on or in it my entire life. So when we had the opportunity to chose between a 5 star cruise boat or a traditional sailing felucca there was no contest. Felucca it was!
Luckily my first impressions proved to be a little off… The Nile is NOT crocodile infested on the section that we were sailing on and we would be sleeping under the stars on the deck of the felucca rather than in the sand dunes.
And we loved every minute of it.
With the wind gently blowing along the River Nile stretching the sail tight and a guide at the helm all we had to do was lie back and relax.
The guides did everything from guiding us, keeping us entertained with stories and songs, to preparing simple meals on board consisting of falafel, pita bread, hummus and fruit for lunch and dinner.
We didn’t have to lift a finger unless it was to turn a page or reach for another bottle of beer. With a book in one hand, a beer in the other and only 6 of us enjoying the relaxed pace it was more luxurious in my mind than any 5 star floating hotel.
The snapping of the rigging lines in the wind and water lapping at the sides were the only sounds as we zigzagged our way upriver. For a whole day we followed a flotilla of other feluccas. Our only stops were when someone wanted to stop for a pit stop in the bushes!
As the sun slowly began to melt into the horizon line we pulled up alongside the rest of our tour group for the evening festivities.
Dosed up on the pungent smell of mosquito repellent and shisha pipes we danced to the beat of the Nubians traditional and not so traditional songs. The roaring bonfire in the sand dunes to kept us toasty warm and threw flickering shadows across the Nile.
Lying back on our felucca gazing up at the twinkling milky way far above us with the occasional shooting star it couldn’t get much better than that.