April 6, 2022. 108°F/42°C
Check out today’s temperature!
Of all the amazing places on our itinerary, I think Luxor is the one I’ve looked forward to the most. Ted and I have never been big fans of the schlocky “Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” type movies, but we’re HUGE fans of period dramas, especially things like Agatha Christie’s Poirot series. As a result, I have a very romanticized vision of touring the Valley of the Kings taken largely from repeated viewing of the 2004 version of Death on the Nile starring David Suchet: tour groups full of women in tailored white linen pants and flowing scarves, and men in white summer suits and straw hats.
And yet for me, personally, this has also been the excursion that I dreaded the most, since reaching Luxor (inland on the Nile) involves a 3.5 to 4 hour overland bus ride from our ship docked in Safaga on the Red Sea, and my worst motion sickness symptoms are reserved for buses. I really didn’t want to miss the majesty of the desert vistas by taking a Gravol and risking falling asleep on the journey. Luckily, Viking understands. Guest Services were able to reserve me a seat in the front third of the bus. I don’t need the front seats, usually reserved for those with mobility issues, but not chancing getting stuck at the back of the bus ensures a better travel experience for everyone. As Forrest Gump would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
You can see from the map above where the Nile flows in relation to the Red Sea. While being the world’s longest river (contested by the Amazon), it is quite small based on rate of water flow. At its widest point, it is 2.8 km (1.7 mi) wide. Its average depth is 8–11 m (26–36 ft), so it is definitely not navigable on a cruise ship, even a smallish one like ours, which has a 21 ft draught. Only sailboats and shallow-draft river steamers ply the waters here.
I definitely wanted to be awake when we transitioned from desert sand to the lush green Nile River valley.
Our excursion is a 13 hour long one, and I know Ted will take many hundreds of photos, so I’ll work on the actual blog tomorrow on our sea day.