I meet Mustafa at Elefantine near the ferry facing Aswan. Its always nice again to suround the island by boat, I love the sights of other feluccas sailing, the sight of Ibises sitting nearby. We arrive at the beach on the other side of the Nile and Mustafa asks Chratib to bring me with his camel up to the Monastery of Simeon. Both men are laughing while the camel stands up - with me on top of it. What a funny feeling. He returns to his felucca, which has brought me from Elephantine to the beach of Aga Khan (where the camels are waiting) and let me ride west with the cameleer walking beside me and guiding the camel. "Just call me after you finished to pick you up again."
We move up to the Monastery of Simeon. I am the only tourist up there, buy a ticket (20 EGP) and the waiter invites me to be my guide. It is an amazing tour I get: he does not only explain, he is acting, he should get the next Oscar in Hollywood. He knots his (imagined long hair) up into a hole in the ceiling, to show - in case the monch would fall asleep during prayer and his head drop down - the pain would wake him up. He is acting inside this beautiful surrounding and let me guess what he is doing: baptising, baking bread, eating, making wine - just to mention a few. He shows me the sleeping rooms, the "garage of the camels" and many more interesting places. He was worth the tip I give him after the tour.
We continue the ride to Qubbet El Hawa, the "Dome of the Winds". My guide and his camel try to catch their breath after a long and steep way up through a lot of sand. I climb the ruin and feel the winds meet under the cuppola: what a nice view! To the left, I see Gharb Aswan, the big Nubian village with all its blue houses, beneath feluccas in the blue river, the skyline of Awan behind, to the right Elephantine and Kitchener Island, at the horizon the highdam,
Mustafa is already waiting with his felucca. I had called him from Qubbet-El-Hawa to pick me up and take me back to Aswan. I will have to return with more time to visit the Tombs of the Nobles inside.
Boat for you to bring you to
the beach of Aga Khan, camel ride to the Monastery of Simeon, to Qubbet El
Hawwa and the Tombs of Nobles, boat back to Aswan.
One or more persons (= one felucca) go and back: 80 EGP each hour. The time you spend at the westbanks doesnt count.
One or more persons (= one motorboat, which is faster than felucca ) go and back: 100 EGP each hour. The time you spend at the westbanks doesnt count.
You will have to negotiate yourself with the camel drivers. They dont accept captains to help guests. Count
100 - 150 EGP for each camel and depending on time you will need.
(This is an advice, they will ask for baksheesh after arrival to pay for waiting times).
Tickets not included: