We all had a poor nights sleep - the boat set off at 3:00am as it wants to get to Aswan early I think - then they can release all the staff. Before breakfast we had a stop at 7:00 to see the fortress of Qasr Ibrim (after which the boat is named.) This wasn't that good - just a small set of ruins. We passed another large boat - the only one we had seen on the lake.
Breakfast was taken on the covered deck watching the world go by. The scenery is very stark - either grey hills or desert - almost no vegetation. It is such a contrast to the lake. We had a stop to see the temples of Amada and Derr. In the visit to the temples we had 2 boatmen, 2 marine policemen, a tourist policeman and the guide - 6 of them to our 4 but only the 3 policemen were armed. The temples were opened up especially for us. Both temples are small places that had been moved to save them from flooding. The guide we have is very good and he made the visits very interesting. The guide doesn't use our names - just calls us 'family' - so we now go round singing 'We are family'!
After this it was a quick snooze on deck before lunch. This was taken on deck (again with 3 chefs supervising the buffet and 2 waiters).The afternoon activity was a visit to Wadi as-subua - a temple with an avenue of Sphinxes leading up to it. The highlight of the visit was seeing all the birdlife - there were Storks, Herons, Kites and Eagles as well as numerous other smaller birds. Judi was in her element.
Dinner was a set meal tonight - 5 courses 4 of which were excellent. The 5th was the toughest beef I think any of us have ever encountered. We were moored by the temples and as a treat they floodlit them for us. We had a cocktail watching them before all the lights went out so that we could enjoy the night sky.
When we got back to our room, the beds had been turned down - except that they had used my hat and sunglasses to make them look like the invisible man.
The last day on the boat was a leisurely affair. The only activity for the morning was a film on the moving of the temples and a cocktail to celebrate crossing the tropic of cancer. The latter got Fran's vote!
After lunch, we docked at Kalabash - the last of the temples we were to see. Different style, newer than previous ones (300 BC) but decorated beautifully. When we got back, the sun deck was very hot with a lot of small flies so we were forced to adjourn to the lounge for our well earned siesta. We spent lots of time trying to work out options for when we are forced to leave our little bit of civilisation on the boat.
We then docked at the Aswan high dam, to stay there overnight and we will depart in the morning. It looked like things are improving - internet is back and the banks will open on Sunday. After dinner, Fran had a tour of the kitchens. We felt like royalty - tomorrow will be hard!