The arts of making coffee (felucca tour)
There are several ideas for felucca tours on this website - apart from the idea, that you can enjoy sailing for hours without needing a destination to go for.
At many places, where you get out to see Nubian Houses, you will feel hassled - worst of all is Gharb Sahel Village (not advised - 90% of all tourists are brought there to make them shop souvenirs.)
But here, at this house, you will be probably be the only guest. You can sit down in the shadow of a tree on some pillows, see boats on the Nile passing by, and watch how the boy makes coffee:
The coffee is roasted on coal. They also add sandalwood to the coals which is responsible for the smoke you see on the top picture, left side.
Then he grinds the coffee and adds spices (see picture left side): ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. All is mixed in the wooden pot with the roasted coffee, then put in the "Tschabana" with water (see top picture, right side), to be cooked on the coal. In the end he uses some straw as a filter to pour out into small cups, adds the sugar and stirs it well.
This coffee is really good and not only for the taste: I had three cups around 2 p.m. and did not start to become tired until 13 hours later: On this day I went to bed at 4 in the morning!
Before we left, we had a tour around the house behind this beautiful place. See the yard, have a look inside the sleeping rooms and the kitchen. In the middle of the yard, they keep crocodiles in an aquarium - I dont like them too much, even if they are small - but I made a picture anyway (see last photo). They have also a square meter with some jewellery to sell, but it was only there and nobody asked me to buy some (which I appreciate very much!).
There is another house behind: a very quiet place with a stable for goats. Of course I had been shown the rooms again, in the last room were Nubian women sitting, I had not expected to see them and I am not sure, if I had shocked them by suddenly standing in the doorway. Of course I did not make a photo, this is not a zoo, but I left 20 Pounds tip for the boy. He refused to accept the tip and I told him, it would be for the women and he smiled and promised to give it to them.
When we left, I knew this would be the felucca tour I would most recommend on this website!
each hour 8 USD
About one hour to sail to there, spend one hour to relax and then sail back (takes longer coming back - about 2 hours) = 3-4 hours
Cup of coffee:
Equivalent of 4 USD in EGP (thats what they told me. First I had thought this was too much for a tiny cup of coffee, but its the experience you pay for, it is really "handmade coffee"!)
If no wind to sail:
• Motorboat to tear the felucca against the current and then sail back quietly (without motorboat) with the current (relaxing and beautiful):
felucca each hour
plus 1x 9 USD for the motorboat
• Motorboat only
- if no wind:
cheaper than felucca plus motorboat
(but motorboat is loud, felucca is quiet)
- if you don't have much time (motorboat is faster than the felucca)
each hour 9 USD
Dear John and Annette, thank you for your email and photos Please see complete email in our guestbook: May 11th 2010)
Quonya wrote in our guestbook July 7, 2012:
The felucca ride was excellent and the fresh caught and cooked fish was amazingly tasty. We ended up taking a longer ride then originally planned as we enjoyed it so much. We also stopped by the Nubian Coffee House for some great coffee (I've been trying to recreate it at home) and tea. The talk at the coffee house was of course all about the election that had taken place only a few days before - it was a highlight of our trip taking to the men while the sunset. The following night we went to the Captain's house for dinner, he showed us the ruins on the island and then gave us time to explore Elephantine Island before visiting his house for dinner. My husband and friend both say that this was by far their favourite meal of the whole trip!
Also big thank you to Hugo and Maria for your email and photos (two below). please see complete email in our guestbook: Nov 22nd 2010)
The nubian coffee is very tasty indeed, but not that strong in terms of caffeine as you (or the site) made me believe, which was a good thing because I actually like to slumber and sleep ;) The space itself was quite enjoyable, and I could imagine myself lounging about there often :)
I should add that probably I didn't find the coffee that strong (caffeine-wise) only because I'm portuguese and not sure if you are coffee-savvy but at least the portuguese people, the brazilians and the italians drink quite the strong coffee (caffeine-wise). :)