[From Monday 6 February 2012 (1)]
Then, back into the minibus — to Luxor Temple, the one near our boat’s mooring: pylon — courtyard with a mosque in it — don’t know how many hypostyle halls — sanctuary with Christian art.
Janet found our time there almost overwhelmingly hot, so was glad of a drink in the shade.
Hot towels and cardamom tea back at the boat. Cobras met us in the cabin.
We paid our debt in the shop before lunch. Aft.: on the open-air, shaded part of the top deck. Mehran joined us for afternoon tea and a chat. Ca.5pm we went to the cabin and lay down. I had some oedema at the ankles. Ca.6pm Ahmed took our party for a stroll in town. The traffic seemed chaotic, but everyone liberally announced his presence by sounding his horn. And vehicles tend to stop if someone determinedly steps out to cross. We passed over the avenue of sphinxes below us, but the precipitous drop to it was not fenced off. We turned into a narrow “walkway” with shops on both sides and again ran the gauntlet of the traders. I say “walkway”, but bicycles frequently passed us, and even the occasional motorbike. Drew and Ruby were just ahead of us, but we realised that the others weren’t to be seen. We went back to look for them, and discovered that Mehran was having trouble with a trader. Not sure what happened in the end — Ahmed was standing by at the shop — we went to report to Drew and Ruby, and eventually the others joined us. We sat in a café under faded “Coca Cola” umbrellas; some of us had Nescafé, Janet had Coca Cola Light. My feet were sore and ankles swollen. The advantage of being in a party where everyone is roughly the same age proved itself at dinner time when we laughed as we recalled comedians and comedy routines from decades ago. “Then Drew and Ruby went,” Janet wrote, “and Ahmed joined us. He and Mehran wind each other up constantly and it’s hilarious.” Finally, we left them and turned in. A man reclining on the bed met us in the cabin!
[Tuesday 7 February 2012 (1)]
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