We are discussing here The preferred vehicle is the large 6-hour bus that carries 60 passengers, but the day before we were alarmed to learn that it was already full. We had met another of these great floating Muslim holidays. The kind that pops calendars out of nowhere and gives independent travelers a very difficult time. Try as she did, my wife had no luck petting the old crisp driver or his assistant. The bus was full and there were no more tickets to sell. The last bus was a departure at 1 p.m., a long drive and a late arrival in Aswan. It was not on our wish list.
are lying comfortably
We were faced with the prospect of a dangerous, terribly uncomfortable, and unhealthy journey ahead of us. With so many locals planning a well-deserved work trip, our chances of getting on the 1 p.m. bus were questionable at best. The big buses in Egypt carry loads of spare parts and their own mechanic, so our concerns seemed well-founded. We had no choice and at 10 p.m. we went to bed comfortably only with an offer of “seats” on the floor of the big 6 am bus.
In Abu Simbel, we stayed in a small 5-bedroom hotel built in the Nubian style. It was very comfortable indeed, given that we were located on the perimeter of an excellent dessert. At 5 a.m., we headed to the transit village assembly point. The large open-air public square in the heart of the village was already filled with like-minded travelers.
Dipping Toes in the Nile
This threatened superb temples, tombs, and other important archaeological sites, including two in Abu Simbel.
The rising waters drowned the old Nubian society with much less sympathy. About 120,000 Nubians were simply forced to move to new housing without compensation for loss of income or income-generating assets.
The region was famous for its date palms, many of which were very old. The date palm requires years of growth before producing large quantities of fruit. Today, they are now under millions of gallons of water at the bottom of Lake Nasser. We learned that these come out as soon as they fill up and one of them seemed to be leaving soon. So we negotiated a price and jumped on the one we hoped to be the first to leave.
Leaving so early meant that we would arrive in Aswan before 8:30 am and enough time to get to a hotel. It’s funny how unexpected consequences can bring so much joy! We escaped sitting on the floor of the big bus. With all the pressure from an unexpected Muslim vacation, we had started to worry about the availability of reasonable accommodation. Now get to our destination so early and the added bonus of a real one.