Me, feluccas, history and healing in Luxor, Egypt

This is the story of a "felucca girl" in Luxor, Egypt.

I have refound my youth in this amazing country, making it my permanent home, spending my time showing tourists the wonder of the eternal River Nile on a traditional sailing boat called a felucca.

Egypt is a very spiritual land. A land of amazing energies and healing. Temples and tombs abound. Join me in experiencing the spirituality of Egypt. Reiki, Crystals, Healing, Energy Work..... all are available here.

Welcome to my world!

Monday, 24 January 2011

The beginnings of Felucca Spirit

The ageing felucca was mine at last.  But it was sorely in need of some tender, loving care.  She was now a shell, the mast was down, the cushions had been ripped out, the tent covering the top had disappeared and the sail was nowhere to be seen.

Replacing  the sail was by far the biggest expense, and I needed to design a small logo to be sewn into the top. Many arguments ensued because without exception, all the feluccas have hearts and flowers decorating the sails, and of course, I have to be different. So I adapted one of my Reiki symbols...... they are not to be passed around, but the adaptation meant that my boat had the protection it provided without the actual symbol being obvious.  I neatly drew it out in preparation.  I had my crystals ready for sewing into the “hem” of the sail, and my colour scheme for the felucca picked out. 

I did not want to follow the crowd with white paint and either blue or orange. My felucca, my Spirit, would be cream with a turquoise trim.  I had many, many arguments over that one.  Why did I want cream? White is better! Turquoise will not look nice! And then there were the cushions and the tent. No way was I having the Egyptian chintz effect!  I spent hours in the souk trying to find something simple, and never did get exactly what I wanted, but I was pretty close to the mark, with a nice lilac coloured fabric with a simple design and not a flower in sight.

While all this was going on, the hammering, banging and chaos increased.  Steel and ropes were being replaced, I even got to sew some sail fabric together for binding steel, with a needle big enough to thread a buffalo through! 

The paint arrived......  and there was the cream, just as I asked for, but the turquoise was not exactly turquoise, but it was close enough and I decided it was fine.

Tomorrow was time to start the painting..........


I apologise for the lack of posts over the last week or so. This was due to a problem with my internet connection, but thankfully this is now resolved and I will be blogging again within the next 24 hours.

Once again, apologies from Luxor, from Spirit of the Nile and from me.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Atarrs and healing

Yesterday was an interesting day. I am a Reiki Master and as such very interested in all types of healing gifts.
I have a friend who runs a perfumerie/spices/herbal remedies shop. He is a very spiritual man and he has an amazing gift of healing.
Yesterday I took a friend to see him as I felt she could benefit from his gift. I will not go into details because of confidentiality, but she has been suffering non-physical illness for many years. Adel did his stuff and immediately saw that the problem stemmed from traumatic experiences during childhood. She was amazed at his insight.
So today, the atarr in him (Atarr being the name for an traditional egyptian herbalist) provided leaves from the nabac and eucalyptus trees, black cumin seeds and 7 dates. The leaves to be steeped in water overnight in the open air, and the resulting infusion needs to be used to wash the whole body of negativity.. The dates are steeping in a mix of water with a little of the black cumin seeds. These dates will then be eaten tomorrow and the juice will be drunk.
For information, the nabac tree is also known here as the Thorn of Christ and is a type of cedar. Apparently a very spiritual tree and connected with the Thorn Tree of Glastonbury and its associations with Joseph of Arimathea.
So my friend arrives here tomorrow to wash, eat and drink. And hopefully she will start to be able to deal with her illness.

If nothing else it will be an amusing day!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

How to buy a felucca

As my felucca is a huge part of my life here, I thought I would start by telling of the ups and downs of actually buying and refurbishing a felucca.
I arrived here in September 2007 and had already decided a boat of my own was a priority. I had enough money not to have to think about work immediately, and my escape from the rat race meant I was sorely in need of some downtime.
I put the word out and received numerous offers of help from many people, only a few of which were people I felt I could trust. Sadly, all of them were of the opinion that the "foreigner" had loads of money and would pay over the odds, thereby making a nice commission for themselves. However, this foreigner already knew the correct price to pay, but was prepared to pay a reasonable amount for "project management".  This was totally confusing for the Egyptians....... what an innovative idea! The foreigner pays us and we still get to make a huge commission.
A couple of boats were put forward for consideration, here in Luxor before I was whisked off to Aswan to look at boats there. Apparently feluccas are cheaper in Aswan.  The trip itself was a lot of fun and worth it just for the couple of days away, but it also transpired that if any of the boats had been right for me, I would have been unable to use it in Luxor because the Aswan licence would need to be transferred to Luxor, and Luxor were issuing no new licences.
So back to Luxor, to find a boat that already had a current licence.
I found it. Her name was Paradise and she was owned by a lovely elderly man, who clearly thought the English lady was completely crazy! The felucca was old, and desperately in need of renovation. But for me....... she felt right!
Here she is on the very first sailing I had on her!
Complete bliss for me.

Interestingly enough though, although she was mine, the contracts had not been finalised, the papers had not been registered in the court, the licence had not been transferred and no money had yet changed hands. Yet she was mine.

I was constantly being asked when I was killing the sheep so that I could share in my good fortune, and all I could hear was "mabruk ya Hazel". Congratulations from everywhere.

The following day however, saw Paradise as a shell. The mast, sail and pretty much all the fittings had gone. A small army of workers were milling around, hammering and banging as they prepared her for renovation. Chaos seemed to reign supreme.
Removing the mast
I have to admit being a tad nervous because she was totally unrecognisable, and legally she was not yet mine.
The noise from the hammering combined with the yelling and shouting that the Egyptians seem totally unable to control was earsplitting, but I was very happy to sit on another felucca watching and taking lots and lots of photos.
Tea was made for me on a regular basis and I was a happy little bunny.
Removing the mast
While all this work was going on, the contracts were being done. A few days later I found myself in the court with the money safely stashed in my handbag. We met the seller with his lawyer, and then began the rounds of the court clerks. An hour later, the contracts were signed, the money was handed over and Paradise was legally mine! We forwent the champagne celebration for tea on the shell of Paradise, amidst much more hammering, banging and yelling! 

I was the legal owner of a felucca in Luxor! Although she did not resemble a working felucca in anyway, shape or form!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

How to begin?

This is my first attempt at blogging.  I love my life in Luxor, Egypt and there are so many aspects that I want to share.
I suppose I should begin with myself and how I managed to find myself leaving England for a new life in Luxor.
My fascination with Egypt started way back in 1998 when I visited on a 2 week holiday. I still remember the feeling of "coming home" as I stepped from the airplane.
After many, many, many visits I finally moved here permanently in September 2007.
The amazing history of this land, the warmth of the sun, and the friendly people combined with my love of the river to bring me here.
The River Nile is the lifeblood of Egypt and one of the first things I did on arrival was to buy my very own felucca so that I could indulge myself and sail whenever I wanted  to.
This is Spirit....... when she was a new baby!
My first months here were spent taking in the temples and tombs with as much sailing as I could manage thrown in. Then I began a business with a friend of mine, but the long hours that I was working defeated the object of my moving here, so I gave that up and wandered around looking for something to do. I found it in Spirit.
Not only did tourists want to pay me to sail in her, they also gave me a chance to take on a role as a "tour leader" helping them organise their sightseeing, giving them tips on where to eat, what to do etc. And I loved it. Over the last couple of years or so, I have met many wonderful people. Some have come and gone, and others have remained friends.
Everyday, I count my blessings for the life I am able to lead.

And so it begins...... the stories and special moments of my life in Luxor with Spirit.