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Egypte is niet een land waar je zomaar kunt gaan roeien. Je hebt lokale contacten nodig en de juiste vergunningen. Je moet scherp kunnen onderhandelen over alle prijzen en het avontuur niet schuwen. Maar als het lukt is het een geweldig ervaring waar al je andere roeiavonturen bij vervagen.
In 2013 is een expeditie van Luxor naar Caïro verroeid. De volgende twee reizen van Aswan naar Luxor en van Luxor naar Caïro zijn helaas door de instabiele veiligheidssituatie niet doorgegaan. Hieronder staat het verslag en voor wie het begint te kriebelen beide reisschema’s.
The Nile Rowing Expedition 2013
Carola, who lives, works and rows in Egypt and Martin, as an experienced Dutch marathon rower had the idea of rowing on the Nile. They teamed up and after one and a half year of organizing they made their dream come true. A group of 15 experienced rowers from the Netherlands, Germany and America rowed from Luxor to Cairo. A distance of 720 kilometers in 10 days from the 26th of April to the 5th of May 2013. We rowed in two Egyptian C4x+. That meant that every day 10 people would row and steer and 5 people could enjoy the rich Egyptian heritage and culture.
Most participants arrived early in Luxor to visit the beautiful ancient monuments, enjoy Luxor and to get accustomed to the heat. Their suitcases packed with white shirts with long sleeves, sun hats, and sunscreen and water. The expedition started with a day of rigging the boats fit for the expedition, making some test runs and getting to know each other.
The first day of rowing started with a ‘blessing’ ceremony with fresh flower leaves for a safe journey by a representative of the Egyptian ministry of Tourism and made us feel welcome. Rowing on the Nile past the Karnak Temple (Luxor) on star board side and the Theban Necropolis on port side was the start of a beautiful and gruelling expedition.
We mostly rowed on a slow moving winding river, with palm trees and villages on the river banks. On the smaller river arms of the Nile we encountered a lush green scenery filled with birds and fisherman rowing traditional boats. Sometimes when the river had made her way through an area with rocky mountains we rowed with a barren desert on one side and cliff’s on the other. What didn’t change was the blistering sun with temperatures up to 40 degrees centigrade and drinking huge amounts of water and fresh juices.
The Egyptian government was very concerned about our well-being. That is why police boats escorted us all the way on the water and when we drove in a convoy. It was sometimes difficult to go out for an unplanned after dinner stroll with a hotel lobby full of guards. But on the other hand in Qena a polite police general accompanied us to the famous local mosque. Our lunch breaks in little villages along the Nile proved that the Egyptian people were very friendly. They provided us with fresh baked ‘sun bread’ , tea and shared the shade under their trees. In the evening they assisted in lifting the boats out of the water.
The crew that did not row was enjoying Egypt’s rich heritage. Like the Pharonic, temple in Karnak, the Coptic Red Monastry in Sohaq and the famous Islamic mosque in Qena. They went with a minibus on dusty roads and through Egyptian villages with friendly people and cattle on the road. Most participants also ‘enjoyed’ one or two days of not rowing due to food poisoning, sleep deprivation, heatstroke or exhaustion due to the daily distances of up to 90 km’s. Well……,we did call it an ‘Expedition’ from the very beginning.
Before we knew it we were rowing into Cairo. We finished accompanied by an armada of rowing boats, official representatives and the press. A dream came true!
Travel Itinerary: rowing from Aswan to Luxor
Come and join us for five days of rowing on the stunning river Nile in Upper Egypt. Combine rowing with culture. Enjoy Egypt’s rich Pharonic, Islamic and Coptic heritage during the sightseeing program before and after the tour. Visit the majestic temples of Abu Simpel, the Valley of the Kings in Thebes (Luxor) and many more monuments (Gebel Silsila, Edfu Temple Horus) we pass along the way.
On the first day we will get up early and visit the world famous Abu Simpel Temple Complex. The second day is reserved for individual sightseeing in Aswan. On the third day we will prepare the boats. The next day is the first of 5 days of rowing from Aswan to Luxor; a distance of 220 km. The ninth day is reserved for exploring tombs and other monument in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile. On the last and tenth day the participants will explore Luxor on their own and have a closing dinner in the evening.
Trip: Arrival in Aswan on Saturday the 1st of November. Departure from Luxor on Wednesday the 12th of November. 10 days / 11 nights in hotels or hotel boat.
Rowing: From Aswan to Luxor in 5 days. Total distance 220 km. Daily distances from 25 to 40 km. In 2 or 3 C4x+’s with 10 – 15 participants. Essentials: Sense of Adventure, white shirts, long sleeves, sun hats, and lots of sunscreen.
Estimated price: € P.M. based on 10 participants. Included: full board, professional expedition tour leader, rowing boats, transport, etc. Not included: flights, baksheesh (tips), admission to museums, etc.
Each day we will try to combine rowing with visiting monuments along the way. Depending on the amount of participants people will have rest days, but we try to let everybody row as much as possible.
Travel Itinerary: rowing from Luxor to Cairo
The focus of this expedition is on rowing. Rowing long distances in a hot climate on the beautifull river Nile. Whenever possible we will enjoy Egypts rich heritage, like the Mosque of Qena, the Temple of Hator and the Red Monastry in Sohaq.
The first day of the expedition is reserved for individual sightseeing in Luxor. The second day we will explore the tombs and other monument in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile. On the third day we will prepare the boats. The next day is the first of 10 days of rowing from Luxor to Cairo; a distance of 720 km. On the fourteenth day you can explore Cairo on your own and maybe pay a visit to the treasures of Toetanchamon in the Egyptian Museum. The last day is reserved for visiting the Pyramids on the west bank of the Nile
Trip: Arrival in Luxor on Saturday the 8th of November. Departure from Cairo on Monday the 24th of November. 15 days / 16 nights in hotels or hotel boat.
Rowing: From Luxor to Cairo in 10 days. Total distance 720 km. Daily distances from 65 to 90 km. In 2 C4x+’s with 15 participants.
Essentials: Sense of Adventure, white shirts, long sleeves, sun hats, and lots of sunscreen.
Estimated price: € P.M. based on 15 participants. Included: full board, professional expedition tour leader, rowing boats, transport, etc. Not included: flights, baksheesh (tips), admission to museums, etc.
Daily distances are long and traveling and rowing takes time. That is why we try to have more participants than seats in the boat. In 2013 we had 15 rowers and 2 C4x+’s. When you are not rowing you will enjoy Egypt’s rich heritage.
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