Simply Travels | My Travel Blog


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nubian Village | Aswan Egypt Day 4

The plan for some of tour group was to take an optional trip to Abu Simbel. I opted out of this visit because we had to wake up very early - leave the ship by 3.30am for a bus ride to Abu Simbel. I did not fancy that idea of waking up that early given that I had gone to bed late the night before anyway.

Besides, I had every intention of returning to Egypt for a second visit sometime in the future. So I decided I would have another chance to visit Abu Simbel later on. The other girls also decided not to go for this trip. But we decided to go something fun, which was to visit the Nubian Village.

At about 9.30 in the morning after our breakfast, we walked down the docks looking for a boat driver who could take us to the Nubian Village. Almost immediately, not even two minutes into our walk, a Nubian man approached us and asked if we wanted to visit the Village. We asked the prices and he said 50 USD per person for the whole trip inclusive of boat ride, visit, tea and henna tattoos. Our tour leader had earlier told us not to pay more than 30 USD for this. So we brought it down to that. And the man agreed.

We got into a motorboat - it had two levels. An uncovered top and a covered seating area below. We sat on the top deck - there was a table and seats nailed down. We had fun taking pictures of ourselves and the environment.

It was a beautiful morning - the fresh sun was lovely. It was neither too hot nor cold, perfect!

View from the Top of the Motorboat

Passed our Cruise Ship

The boat ride was about 30-35 minutes. Once we arrived at the Nubian Village, we had to climb up the rocky banks and walked through the village shop area to get to a Nubian house.

Some People took a Camel Ride to the Village Area
On Hindsight, We Should Have Agreed
But we were Afraid that They May Charge Extra
Still We Should not Have Assumed!

Nubian Women

They Breed Crocodiles

Usually, the Egyptian tour guide would arrange these visits. Since we did it ourselves, I think we got the raw end of the deal. The guy who brought us to the village did not speak very good English and could not answer our questions about the village. It dawned on us that this part of the village was very much geared to the tourists. We were given hibiscus tea - which was watered down. But tasted good all the same. Then we noticed that other tourists (with their tour guide) got bread along with their tea, but we didn't!

The woman who did our henna tattoos also wanted money, but we told the man who came with us that we had already agreed for an all-inclusive tour. That marred our visit for us - they were after money, and we felt it. And I suppose it would be a fair trade off, if only the woman who did our tattoos was more hospitable. She was in such a rush and would not do what I asked for exactly - how very rude of her.

Our Nubian Henna Tattoos

Mummified Foxes

Top View of Village

Good thing About the Village is the White Wash
Welcome Chance from the all-common Brown Walls

Nubian Handicrafts Sold at the Village
I bought necklaces that they said was mad from camel teeth
But I wonder if it is real??!

Traditional Weaver at Nubian Village

The boat driver allowed each of us to drive and steer the motorboat on our way back. That way nice, but I did not like it. Too much work for me!

On our return to the ship, we chanced upon several others from our tour group who had not gone to Abu Simbel as well. They told us that they were walking down the docks and a man had offered to take them to a Nubian Village for $1 USD each! There were about maybe 10 of them together. They were brought to a real village area, not the touristy Nubian Village we had gone to. Imagine our disappointment. They did not get Nubian henna tattoos - but given what I had gotten for my tattoo, I would have given it a miss to go see a real village.


Moral of the story - haggle, haggle, haggle. And do not agree to something with the first person you chance upon. Think it over after getting several offers.....

Ah well - anyway, it was an adventure.

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