Had a very early start this morning. 2.30am wake up call, and down in lobby by 3am for our trip to Abu Simbel. We had to travel in a bus as part of a convoy which is an old government regulations still in place, due to security.
Left Aswan at about 4am and drove south through the desert under an amazing clear sky full of stars. We arrived at the site just as the sun was rising over Lake Nasser for another clear day. The temple was originally situated where the lake is which was formed when the dam was built.
The temple had some well preserved statues out the front, dedicated to Ramses II. Inside there is a smaller statue which captures the rising sunlight on February 22nd and also October 22nd, which are his birth and crowning dates. Lots more smaller rooms that have fantastic features and pictures on the walls and pillars. Also visited the smaller temple next door, which was dedicated to his wife.
Had a pretty relaxing drive back to Aswan which didnt really feel like it took too long. Just relaxed at the hotel waiting for the bus to pick us up to take us to the Felucca, however it was around an hour late. Eventually boarded the Felucca and settled in for the cruise with beer in hand. The boat was quite small, with a mattress on the deck, a canvas above us, a cooking/prep area in the rear and thats about all. No running water, electricity or bathrooms.
Soon after we set sail had some very nice falafel for lunch which the crewmen prepared. Also saw a little boy on a plastic board paddle frantically up to another Felucca, grab onto the side, and then start singing for money. Also had an interesting 'bathroom' break on the side of the Nile, which culminated in a very angry Egyptian farmer running down the bank, sickle in hand, yelling that it is his farm and not a bathroom. Luckily he didnt catch any of us in the act and one of the crewmen had to go and talk to him to calm him down. Apparently our guide lay on the boat and found it most amusing.
Eventually set up for the night on the side Nile, near a sandy beach. Just played some more cards and drank some more beer for most of the evening. Very relaxing indeed being on a sail boat with not much else around. Had some dinner, and then at night time went onto the land where the crew played some native Nubian music. Went to bed around 11pm on top of the Felucca, with just the sides pulled down. I slept on the very end so looked out onto the beach and clear sky, did get a little chilly later on though.