Intrepid is very excited to resume trips in a country where women, such as Queen Shajar al-Durr and Hatshepsut, have shaped history with their wisdom and nerve. Today times may be different, but meeting the women and families who call this ancient land home is what Casey Wallen enjoyed most on Discover Egypt…
“On our Intrepid trip we spent a wonderful night at a homestay in a Nubian village on the banks of the Nile. To get there we set out from Aswan in our felucca, a very popular sailing boat on this river. As we cruised we could view the mud brick houses, almost camouflaged in the sandy landscape, and received cheery waves from farmers tending to their buffalo in the lush fields along the river banks. After a short ride we disembarked on the other side of the river and were greeted by kids who couldn’t wait to show us their clever acrobatics in the refreshing river water.
On the slopes leading down to the river was our Nubian village. Here the villagers like to paint their mud brick homes bright blue and add colourful patterns on the walls. We walked through our village, stopping to meet some of the locals. We met one man as he waited to get a lift to the next village from a passing car. Very few people have their own cars, so there is an obligation for those driving past to stop and pick up hitchhikers. It’s ok, because it seemed like they all knew each other.
Our homestay was set behind a brightly-coloured wall, where once you stepped inside you were greeted by the smiling faces of the extended family. The wall surrounded a central courtyard full of sand, which was immaculately swept to appear perfectly flat and clean. After our meet-and-greet we moved to our simple rooms and became acquainted with our home for the night.
The women of the family were happy to show us how they were preparing our dinner. We learned about the local school for the Nubian kids, and a little more about their way of life. Fortunately our local guide was a fantastic translator. One of the women even took the ladies to a separate room and showed us how they prepared their head scarf.
Dinner was superb with so much food of delicious, fresh, local cuisine. Most travellers would sail past these villages without even stopping to explore, but on our trip we were invited to look around these villages, meet their gorgeous children, be hosted by a wonderful family in their home and learn about this remarkable culture.”
To find out more about travelling with Intrepid and for your chance to WIN a trip in every edition, subscribe to Intrepid Express, our free e-newsletter. Plus you can become a fan of our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!
* photo by Casey Wallen