Dennis Wright's Blog

Egypt 2010 #3 – Esna lock

Posted in Egypt, Travel by Dennis Wright on August 18, 2010

The afternoon of our trip to the Valley of the Kings our cruise ship (actually glorified riverboat) set off southward in the direction of Aswan.

We had to navigate the lock at Esna. Behind us were more boats waiting their turn. Whenever a riverboat is moving more slowly, close to a stopping point, it rapidly finds itself surrounded by a flotilla of traders in rowing boats. They get very close, trying to get the attention of the passengers, even when the cruise boats are moving. It is a wonder that some of the braver rowing boats don’t get crushed under the bows.

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We headed to the lock, following another riverboat in. All the riverboats are built to the same design. Apparently there are 300 of them licenced to cruise up and down the Nile.

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We had traders following us too, trying to sell Jellabahs (gelebaiahs or however you want to spell it), the traditional one piece garments worn by Egyptians. The traders in the picture are wearing them. Our ship, and very likely all of them, have an Egyptian dress up night at some point along the cruise and the traders know the passengers need to get kitted up.

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Into the lock …

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… through the lock and looking back towards it:

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