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Pole to Pole

Day 62: Aswan to Wadi Halfa

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleAs this is the first ferry out of Aswan for two weeks it is full to capacity, which I'm told, with a vague shrug, is anywhere between 500 and 700 passengers, though I can see only two lifeboats, neither of which looks capable of taking 350 souls. We shall be on board for one night, covering the 186 miles to Wadi Halfa in roughly fifteen hours.

There are three decks on the Sinai and the good news is that we have cabins to ourselves. The bad news is that it's almost impossible to reach them as the central companion-way fills up with crates, sacks, boxes and their owners. No one is able to move anyone else out of the way as there is nowhere out of the way to go. I walk up onto the top deck to watch the loading, but there is little shade and the temperature is over 100 degrees. Return to my cabin to read Alan Moorehead's The White Nile, only to find my cabin has filled up with some of the thirty boxes of drinking water we are carrying with us. Once I've sorted these and my bags onto the top bunk I lie down, but the commotion in the gangway outside makes sleep impossible. There are no locks and every now and then an Arab face peers in before slamming the door again.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 62
  • Country/sea: Egypt
  • Place: Aswan
  • Book page no: 133

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