What was the ultimate highlight of our Egypt trip? Probably the entire trip, but if you are in Aswan, there is one experience you cannot miss out on, it is too special.
Upon arrival in Aswan, we knew exactly how we wanted to spend our first afternoon – hire a ferlucca. Ferluccas are traditional small sailing boats which have no motors. Originally they would have been used for fishing but now they are geared towards tourism. You can hire a motorboat, but trust me – you want a ferlucca. All the tourists who were on motorboats were looking on at us with envy/wanting to take pictures of our boat.
We negotiated a price with a ferlucca captain, Iwa (sp?). He asked ‘Elephantine Island?’ We did want to go there later, but our destination was rather Soheil Island.
I read in the Lonely Planet that this was a lovely destination for a longer ferlucca trip and a bit more off-the-beaten-track. There, you can see hieroglyphic ruins of the famous seven year famine and there is also a Nubian village on the island – but that is a wonderful story which I will save for another post!
As we pushed away and meandered south towards Soheil, it became quieter and quieter until we were the only boat on the river. It was just us, the Nile and it was so quiet. It really was pure bliss. It took about half an hour to reach Soheil, but we were in no rush.
After spending over an hour on the island – we lost track of time, it really was such an interesting place and the people were equally interesting to talk to – we returned to the ferlucca for the journey back to the hotel.
J. paddled his feet in the Nile water to cool himself down, all until we saw a dead dog floating passed us and the feet were briskly put back in the boat for the rest of the trip! We were going so slowly so it took a while to escape the dog on the river…
We were going against the wind so it took well over an hour to get back. The boat meandered left to right, left to right, up the Nile. The sail changing direction each time. This was absolutely fine. We had timed the trip to perfection as the sun was setting and it was the most beautiful sunset of the trip.
So yes, visit the pyramids, but make sure you hire a ferlucca in Aswan for a spectacular sunset!