The temple, just after sunrise.
Me and D outside the temple.
Also amazing was the temple was so well preserved - I think from being underneath sand, there was even still colourings in the interior statues and walls. So beautiful and so, well strange, to be seeing this sort of thing in person! There was also a beautiful much smaller Queen's temple - quite touching that Ramses II loved his queen enough to build her a temple. Both temples were cut straight into the mountain too, one can only imagine how well a project like that would have needed to be managed given the tools and equipment available. It was such a beautiful time to be there as well - just after sunrise, so peaceful not many other tourists, the temple overlooking beautiful still Lake Nasser. My last statement of awe about the temple is that in the twentieth century the whole thing - including the mountain - was actually moved to avoid the lake. Incredible!
Some pics of the great Ramses II.
The temple from a distance so you can see how it was carved into the mountain.
So then it was back for a very good breakfast at our hotel and a shower and a bit of free time around the pool before meeting up to go over the felucca briefing. It was around this time that Darren revealed his tummy wasn't feeling the best. Uh oh.
Around 2pm we boarded the felucca and had a nice simple lunch of whole wheat pita, some kind of soft feta like cheese stuff, cucumber, falaffel, (Darren and I are both in love with the food here), before we set sail tacking down the Nile. A very relaxed lazy afternoon ensued marred only very slightly by the tinge of needing to pee (which can only be done in the bushes after the captain has pulled over to the bank).
Our four feluccas.
Darren relaxing on board the felucca.
When we did pull over for the night everyone was nearly asleep and Darren was in considerably more pain. We had a beef stew and vegetable stew for dinner with rice and my favourite wholemeal pitas. Intriguing was the plate the captain put down calling it "salad" - it looked like a plate of little red potatoes. I picked one up and doing do revealed that it they were potatoes they weren't cooked. I tentatively took a bite and found that I was biting into something sweet, with a subtle flavour and the texture of an unripe pear. Our felucca-mate Claire figured out when she saw the stone that it was a fresh date! Anyway I was so excited to have tried it and seen where the dried dates I love so much started their life.
After dinner it was up to a small Nubian village to check out a family house (with a proper toilet) to see how they lived. They were very gracious and welcoming and we had sheesha pipes with them and tea and spent the evening hanging out there and talking to a lovely Australian couple off our felucca, Ingrid and Damien. Then back to the feluccas where sleep was quick coming.