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!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Luxor Reiki

This evening we had our second meeting of the Luxor Reiki Group, although I do have to admit that we did not actually do any Reiki.

We were a small group, due to a few who were unable to attend, (sickness, dodgy dongles and other stuff), but we had a fun time playing with crystals and discussing the forthcoming 11.11.11 and 2012 scenarios!  Possibly a visit to Luxor temple on 11.11.11 to join in a large group meditation! We will see. I am sure we will be exactly where we should be..... the Universe will make sure of that.

Somehow we always manage to go over our allotted time, and we did it again tonight. But hopefully we all learned something.

I do have to say a very special "well done!" to one of our group. You know who you are!  She was doing a simple crystal balancing on one of the girls, and suddenly the healing started to flow.  She is not Reiki attuned, or attuned to any specific healing energies........ but she sure as heck healed!!

Thank you to all who came and here is a reminder of the gorgeous setting we had for our spiritual evening.  Mountains of the West Bank to our right..... the River Nile to the left and the most beautiful sunset and new moon in front of us!

Qantas Travel Alerts | Emergencies

Qantas Travel Alerts | Emergencies

Almost all Qantas flights cancelled ! Ouch!

Official: LE26 bn lost to corruption since outbreak of the revolution

Official: LE26 bn lost to corruption since outbreak of the revolution

So right! Hubby is still trying to renew his driving licence, refusing to pay any money "under the table". He is currently being given the run around by the hospital who are preparing his medical report. Two appointments so far, and two failures! But "money under the table" would have got him a pass whether it was right or not!

He just wants to do things properly.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Satellite cables and "engineers"

Wednesday of last week, my satellite decided not to work anymore.  Subsequent investigations revealed that the holidaying Egyptian in the flat next door had used his own satellite engineer to fix his satellite. In the process he managed to take out all the satellites in the building! No-one had tv anymore except for the wonderful Egyptian channels which are obviously all in arabic!

The said engineer was fetched back, wandered around a bit scratching his head and disappeared, promising to return on Friday. Hmmmmm Friday? Like I believed he would return.

In the meantime I am unable to watch tv in English, hubby was away and I managed to read more books than I have ever done in my life!  The flat is exceptionally clean as well.

Saturday saw the landlord here with his own engineer. This one seemed to know what he was talking about, and apparently someone had been on the roof and messed around with all the cables, so the whole thing needed re-cabling.  And the dishes were being moved from the roof terrace to the roof of the studio apartment. But not on that day.

By yesterday, Wednesday, I was bored of reading, the flat was ultra clean, all ironing done and I threw a strop!

Today, (while being told the engineer would be here at 11am) the engineer arrived at just after 2pm.... ok, not bad for egyptian time. At least it is the same day.  He then proceeded to throw a new cable down from the roof, dropping it down over the balcony above me, and bringing it in through the patio doors! Hey Presto!  I have satellite back!!

But...... the cable....... all the cables are internally fixed into the walls. This one is outside and there is nowhere to bring it in. Now for me, it would make sense to drill a small hole and thread it through, or is that too much to expect?  No....... I now have a rather thick cable descending onto the balcony, tied around the wrought iron railings, draped across the middle of the balcony and in through the open patio door!

So in order to watch tv, we now have to have the door open and have to unplug the satellite so that we can close the door.

Supposedly, this is temporary until the landlord can come and look.  It will be interesting to see how long that actually takes.

Just thought I would also share this felucca convoy picture that I took on Monday while out walking with a friend. We were out for 5 hours..... walked along the River Nile on the West Bank, then cut inland to Esba before heading back through Tod and back down into the village and home.

Monday, 24 October 2011


2012 is almost upon us, with its Mayan prophecies of the "end of the world".
Next month is a unique opportunity when worlds begin to converge. 11.11.11 is the start of big changes according to many.
What does this all mean?  I have no answers, but many believe they do.
On a spiritual level it is claimed that 11.11.11 is the beginning of true spiritual enlightenment.
All over the world there are mass meditations being held to tap into the new consciousness that is there for us.
Here in Luxor, the Diana Cooper School is holding a meditation in Luxor Temple. In Giza others are planning a mass meditation at the Pyramids. In Sedona in the States, Mexico, Peru........ all the ancient places of ancient civilisations....  People are coming together to bring light to the world.
We are all aware, (from our own daily lives, the news we read and watch on tv, the general feelings of materialism and often despair) that things need to change. We need to find our way back to loving life itself and not worry about material things.
For me, I have learned to live without many of the things I considered necessary for a happy life. As you know, tourism in Egypt has suffered during 2011 and that includes myself. Money flow dried up...... but have I starved?  No! Do I still have a comfortable roof over my head? Yes! Am I just as in love with this country as before? Yes!
Later today, I am going on a long walk...... along the banks of the River Nile and around through the villages. I will count my blessings that all this is for free, given to me by "The One", whoever that "One" may be.

2012? 11.11.11? What do they mean? Will my life change? Can I be ready and prepared to accept whatever they bring?

I regularly receive emails from the TUT Adventurers Club, operated by Mike Dooley.  He has just released a new dvd about 2012. These are a few of his words about 2012

"Before us lies the most exciting time in recorded history. As a species we’re about to cross a threshold that’s never been crossed before – from darkness into light. Being here, now, was of our own choosing – the adventure called to you, the challenges tempted you, and the possibilities left you utterly breathless – for what might happen and for what might not happen; for the heartbreaking and for the paradise making. 

The future is ours to shape, though there’s been plenty of reason to anticipate the worst in terms of global upheaval and chaos. Recently, however, there are unmistakable signs that due to a shifting of consciousness, the potential for calamity has been lessened. More and more people are asking the hard questions and discovering they have clear and simple answers—answers that reveal their power, their divinity, and ultimately, their responsibilities. In the coming months and years, it will be those who understand what’s really happening and who respond swiftly to the changing times, that will be richly rewarded as they learn how to deliberately engage life’s magic, live lives of love, and revel in their role as natural born creators.

You are powerful, it is time –"

Do they resonate with you? 

The dvd is for sale and I am sure that it will be excellent. There is a link on the right hand side of your screen.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Egypt's Nile cruises docked, awaiting tourism recovery

Interesting article from Al Ahram on the state of tourism in Aswan. Obviously what is happening there is being replicated here. No cruise boats in Aswan means none in Luxor either.

"Long an autumn tourism hotspot, Aswan is seeing only a trickle of foreign visitors in the wake of the revolution, leaving many workers anxious about their future livelihoods
Reuters, Thursday 20 Oct 2011
Aswan cruise
Traditional Egyptian 'Felucca' boats sail on the Nile river in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan.(Photo: Reuters)

The newly launched Al-Hambra cruise ship sailed only twice on the Nile before President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February and has been docked since then on the banks of the river, its plush fittings gathering dust awaiting the return of tourists.

Aswan, the site of majestic pharaonic ruins and one of the most famous stops on Egypt's Nile cruises, has few of the tourists who normally throng its tree-lined river banks. Instead, dozens of ships are moored waiting for customers.

Of the more than 300 cruise liners usually touring this section of the world's longest river, part of a tourist industry that is a major source of revenue in Egypt, not more than 40 are still setting sail, operators say.

"I'm keeping the boat open just to pay salaries, but not to make profit because that's not going to happen anytime soon," Albert Zakaria, manager of one of the operating cruises, Beau Soleil, moored behind the deserted ship, told Reuters.

Like many, Zakaria accepts he has to pay the bills and salaries even without revenues, so as to be ready once tourists return. He is not sure when that will be.

Tourist numbers have plummeted, dealing a blow to the millions of Egyptians whose livelihoods depend on the 14 million or more visitors who once came to Egypt annually, providing one in eight jobs in a country beset by high unemployment.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt dropped by more than a third in the second quarter of 2011 compared to last year. Some 2.2 million people visited Egypt in the second quarter of this year, down from 3.5 million in the same period in 2010.

In Aswan, in the far south of the country, high season doesn't usually start until fall when the weather is cooler.

Some tourists are returning but many cancelled after 25 people were killed in a fresh burst of violence in Cairo, when Christians protesting about an attack on a church near Aswan clashed with police.

"Tourism is dead. Thank God we still have jobs but every time we think it will get better, some catastrophe hits us," said Moustafa Ahmed, a hotel waiter, lamenting that tensions that erupted this week started over a row in the village of Marinab, just 150 km (90 miles) north.

Tourism is Egypt's top foreign currency earner, accounting for over a tenth of gross domestic product. The Tourism Ministry has said most arrivals now head to beach destinations.

The hotel occupancy rate in Aswan is now hovering around 15 per cent while cruise ships are at 30 per cent, said Abdel Nasser Saber, head of the Tour Guide's Syndicate of Aswan. They would normally expect to be full or even over-booked.

The tourism sector has been suffering since the uprising that ousted Mubarak in February, with brief months of relative relief, but matters won't improve, residents in Aswan say, until Egypt is stable and finished with its transition.

"This is a stark improvement from before. There have been long months when there was no one at all. Any clashes and spilled blood is going to keep the state of tourism like this," he said. "We have to take the effort to calm potential tourists and get these elections over and done with."

Egypt's ruling military council has scheduled parliamentary elections to start on 28 November for a staggered four-months-long vote but no date for the presidential vote has been set yet and serious haggling continues between opposition groups and the military over the process for transition.

Frequent protests and labour strikes, an eruption of sectarian tension and a lack of evident security is the complaint of many of the sector's employees.

"If you drop a dark spot into a glass of milk, you probably won't want to drink it. There has been no accident involving a tourist, but not everyone is ready to put themselves at risk in a country going through transition," said Maged Nader, manager of the Sonesta Cruise boat.

"With poor management by authorities and the continuity of chaos, a lot of people are losing faith in the revolution," Nader said, whose boat is now luckily running with 60 percent occupancy after Sonesta Cruise merged its lines.

Wide-spread disappointment among regular Egyptians with the way the military is handling the transition is also giving rise to concerns that civilians won't be taking over power soon.

"The idea of military rule scares tourists. Most of these worries will continue until the presidential vote and civilians take over," said Farid Farah, General Manager of Nubian Travel, warning "when tourism stops, everything does with it."

Tourists who have come say they aren't that worried.

"My friends told me not to go when they found out I was coming to Egypt but I told them I see no reason not to come here. Egyptians need our help and this is one way to do it," said Carrisse Young, 32-year-old American tourist.

"I haven't felt unsafe at all. Everyone is very friendly and we are having a fantastic time," said Young, who arrived the day after this week's clashes. She is like many tourists in the city, who were tempted by cheap rates and bargain prices.

Budget tourists don't bring in the same revenues, however. Tourist guides say they are less interested in expanding their travel plans and don't always tip well. Guides complain they get few customers. Some work once a month, if at all.

Any staff that join hotels and other places of business during high season have lost their source of income. For many more, their employers can't always pay their salaries.

"Salaries are sometimes late, because I pay when I have the money. We are all patient because there is nothing we can do at this point but the problem is we can't project when this dry spell will end," Beau Soleil's Zakaria said.

Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said in April he saw a rebound by the last quarter of the year, even if it still meant a 25 percent fall in revenues from 2010.

But that would be if there were no disruptions, workers in the sector say. After Sunday's clashes, nine of Zakaria's booked cabins cancelled their reservations.

Labour strikes and frequent protests are not popular here.

"People have to calm down and let the country regain its strength. Our economy is collapsing and if we keep going like this, we will have nothing -- no state -- left to fight for," said Bahaa Rabiey Mohamed, 26-year old salesman in Aswan's empty bazaar, where he now gets little or no business.

Ayman Tahano, a 42-year-old working with a free traders association for the Aswan bazaar echoed the sentiment.

"All these protests for pay hikes are absurd. They are taking all the money the government has and without working for it. They waited 30 years -- can't they wait six more months?" he complained, referring to the three decades Mubarak was in power.

"I told my children's school teacher who is striking for a higher wage that if this keeps up, I think we are going to have to rob them because they are getting cash from the government while I'm sure not getting any income from anywhere," Tahano said, bursting into a laugh."

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A pyramid in an English shire

I have been reading a book about Lord Nelson and discovered that my local stately home, Thoresby Hall has a pyramid in its grounds!  It is called Nelsons Pyramid and commemorates the Battle of the Nile.

Thoresby Hall is now a hotel and spa complex, but it is the family seat of the Pierrepont family and my own grandmother was in service there as a young girl. My great grandfather was a carpenter on the estate and they lived in the estate village, Perlethorpe in the early part of the 20th century.

The pyramid itself is about 12 feet high, and was built in 1799. English and French ships involved in the Battle of the Nile,  are listed on each side of the entrance, together with details of guns and casualties.

So it seems not only am I linked to Thoresby through my families work, but also because of my love of all things Egyptian!

And I never knew, and I have never seen it!

Credit to Stephen Richard Aizlewood for the use of his photographs.

Back to blogging!

After a busy and sometimes weird few weeks, its time to get my blogging on the road again.

We have had a good few weeks with regard to business.  Not anywhere near back to normal, but its looking good and we are eating at least! Luxor is starting to come back to life, slowly but surely.

We have also had some wonderful visitors on the felucca and some great days with them on the River Nile, here in Luxor.

Fishing has recently been the order of the day and Saeed is now the very proud owner of a "real quality" fishing rod and tackle.  But he never got a chance to play with it before a guest beat him to it!  We had a full day out on Saturday, moored up at Bird Island while the crew got on with finishing off the cooking (meat tagine with all the trimmings, yummy). Obviously there is a small walk around we can do while waiting to eat, but the island is small and the fish were swimming around the boat.  So out came the rod and tackle!  In half an hour or so one of the men must have caught at least 12-15 small fish! He was trying to get some of the bigger ones that were close by, but they were having none of it and stayed well away from the bait.   Fortunately Saeed was able to have a quick fishing session while we ate the gorgeous food they had prepared.

This is the one that got away!

So a huge thank you to Terry!!  One of our amazing guests who gave the rod as a gift following a couple of days out fishing with Saeed.  It will be well used and next time you are all here, the fish dinner is on us!

So I guess we can now offer fishing days as an extra.

I am sorry I do not have photos....... I really should take my camera out with me every time!! I will do so in the future!

In the meantime........ what is it about mosquitos that means they only attack me?? Its the middle of the day, I am inside with the door closed and there is just one of them buzzing me!!

And!  My neighbours are building, maybe for the family or maybe to rent or sell.

Fortunately my view will not be obscured as the work is just to the left of me....

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Eva News........ cruising the River Nile

I love this travel report about Nile cruising.  You can see the pyramids from a grotesque cruise boat sailing between Aswan and Luxor and rooms are sufficiently small. Local feluccas with amenities almost like those of the cruise ships!!  Not on my felucca lol.

But read for yourself...... copy and pasted below..... link at the end.  Love it!

Ever been to a magical cruise? Then the Nile cruise is the only fabulous and official cruise that can take you around the uncharted waters of the Nile.The romantic and hassle free Nile cruises are sure to take you in a relaxing and pleasant cruise in your life.
This is the only Nile cruise that is a typical floating boat and hotel in per se en se in the entire world. Other marvelous amenities do exist like spotless lounges, bars, swimming pool, discotheques, and gift shops. The rooms in the Nile cruise are sufficiently small with and amazing air conditioning amenities to ensure that your air is pure and sufficient .
Rooms have TV , twin beds, private shower, dresser. There exist varying standards for rooms, which are acknowledged by stars. High-ranking cruiser rooms are spacious with gorgeous amenities rivaling those of the international standards. A test of a single Nile cruise will testify that there is no cruise equal to the Nile cruise.
Nile cruise is romantic,awesome and grotesque to say but the least. They can accommodate large corporate clients as well as family or individual expedition. What is uniquely amazing about the Nile cruise is the deep and rich Egyptian history as entailed in the Pharaohs antecedent. A normal cruise will take an average of 3 or nights.
Along the Luxor and Aswan dam you will be able to see the most amazing historical artifacts including the great pyramids of Egypt. Depending on your test and favorites, you can either chose the luxury cruiser of the local feluccas whose amenities are almost like those of the cruise ships. Feluccas amenities are basic but one get to enjoy the sites at the close up level than those onboard the cruise ships. So, save a dollar and welcome to the unique fallacies Nile cruises.
Orbital for your Nile Cruise you can be assured that your nile cruise holiday will meet your highest expectations. We visit all the Nile Cruisers regularly and insist that all aspects of travel egypt meet our very high standards.