(Day 43) Aswan – 12 May 2011
Distance for the day – 15 km
Odometer – 12 943 km
Hours on the Bike – 00:20
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 129 756.50
We reached Aswan this morning at 10:00 and it took us another two hours before we got off the Ferry. The hold up was the passport collection of the day before in reverse. Two officials stood at the door to check that all passports were stamped before you could get off the boat. People were pushing and shoving as people bottle necked to get out. We met Mr. Kmal, Tel. +20105322669, who was going to assist us with our paper work. He was a man of few words but knows all the right people at the right places to fast track your entry. We filled in some forms and then he went off to Aswan on his own with our Carne’s and Passports to get our bikes registered. He was back after 14:30 and we were on the road by 15:00, with our new Egyptian number plates. This we thought was too good to be true because of the reports we read from previous groups.
We booked in to the Hathor Hotel, which was cheap and on the main road running along the Nile. In the streets it was a festive atmosphere with lots of Tourist Cruise liners docked on to the sides of the banks of the Nile and many restaurants along this. We first decided to look up our fellow Wadi Halfa travellers to say our goodbyes. They had to wait for the barge to arrive with their vehicles two days later. Thereafter we visited the best Market of the trip so far. It also was evident that there were fewer tourists than normal by the way the people try to do business. They latch onto you and try to convince you to just look with the hope to sell something to you.
The highlight of our day was when we met our fellow Adelaide friends. Sheryl Emslie, Normans wife and sun Dale, with Yvonne Ward-Able had it all planned to meet with Norman while on a trip on the Nile on one of the Cruise Liners. It was just such a pity that Norman, who unfortunately had to turn back when we entered Sudan, was not here. We decided to meet at a local restaurant and caught up on news from home over dinner.
Aswan is Egypt’s most southern city and sits on the banks of a particularly beautiful stretch of the Nile. It is decorated with palm-fringed islands and flotillas of white-sailed feluccas. The town is more African in character than the cities of the north. It is rich in history of the Nubian people who lived here for many generations. At the planning stages, had we known Aswan was such a lovely place, we would have stayed an extra day at leisure here.