Four days of heavy sightseeing and one of those days being up at 3:30 AM, I was ready for a day of relaxing and doing nothing. The felucca ride was the perfect rest day in a fully packed schedule. We arrived at the dock and quickly got ourselves settled in for our day on the Nile. Since we were a large group, we were split onto two boats. The boats are long and shallow. Sitting on deck were large pieces of what I assumed was foam covered in sheets and blankets pulled tight to create a comfortable area to sit or lay down on. Overhead is a shade to protect you from the sun. The boats are simple, and there are no facilities on board, but a support boat would follow us for our meals and bathroom breaks. We set out from Aswan and headed north. Here is the video I shot throughout the day on the felucca.
Some people asked me afterwards if I found it boring, but it wasn’t boring in the least! I really enjoyed watching the scenery change along the way and seeing how people lived along the Nile. I loved seeing the green at the water’s edge and then the desert rising up behind it. Because it wasn’t high tourist season in Egypt, there were not lots of boats on the water, and it was quiet most of the day. It was wonderful to feel the wind and sun on my skin.
We docked to eat lunch at an area with a small beach. Unfortunately, the water was too cold to swim despite having brought my swimsuit. I did put my feet in the water, though. I could go all the way to Egypt and not put my feet in the Nile!
Most of us napped, took photos, read, or sketched the day away. The sailors had music playing out of a speaker that was in the shape of a dinosaur. Unfortunately, I failed to get a picture of the dinosaur. There was lots of Bob Marley played! I never did figure out the obsession with Bob Marley. In the video, you can see a Bob Marley flag with the Egyptian flag.
We sailed until sunset. We then docked with the support boat and the other felucca for dinner and our overnight on the felucca. Both meals on board were simple Egyptian fare, but very good and there was lots of it. We had lots of options for drinks including beer and wine. The feluccas were wrapped in fabric by the crew for us for sleeping. It was still chilly at night in Egypt at this point, and this helped keep it warm. Although part way through the night, I had to get in my sleeping bag to keep warm. The only annoying thing was that large river cruise boats kept going by and rocking our boats. We could also hear the train going by. I was really glad I brought my noise cancelling headphones! You do sleep on the deck with everyone on the boat and the crew sleeps on the support boat or underneath the deck of the felucca.
I could have easily spent a few days sailing up the Nile on one of these feluccas. My tips for having a successful sail up the Nile are to layer your clothes, especially in winter, as it was cool in the morning and evening, but warm during the day. Bring your own snacks, earplugs to combat train noise and snoring fellow travelers, something to read, and an easy going attitude! I enjoyed this sail so much, it is what inspired me to go on the two-week sailing trip to Greece.
Have you been on a sailing trip that you loved?