May 27: Aswan to Abu Simbel and back, then to Edfu

Apparently a few others have Pharaoh's Revenge at this point.

Early in the morning we flew an hour to Abu Simbel to see the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, built by Ramses II.  Interesting flight in that the cockpit door flew open near the end of the flight and those of us seated on the aisle got a nice view of the landing.  Most of the images in and on the temple depict Ramses II.  All four colossi in the front are Ramses II.  The temple and the one beside it were originally carved into the bluff below this point, but when threatened by the rising waters of the new Lake Nasser they were cut apart and moved to higher ground over a period of 8 years in the 1960s.  Colossus #2 collapsed in an earthquake in 27 AD and was left in the same position after the move.  Next 8 photos are from Abu Simbel:

The temple.  The mountain now behind it is artificial.

Colossus #3.

Temple interior.

Temple interior.

Inner sanctuary, where Ramses II is depicted as a god.

Temple of Hathor (next door).

Lake Nasser looking south.  Anything you see in the distance that's more than 50 km away is in Sudan.

Lake Nasser looking south.  The other south.

Waiting to depart the temple grounds I suddenly felt nauseous, then started the uncomfortable process of fainting.  Walking around and breathing helped me avoid incident.  Probably the heat, dehydration and parasitic infection were to blame in tandem.  Without drinking fountains I was still learning how to manage my bottled water supply.

On the flight from Abu Simbel back to Aswan I left my sunglasses at the metal detector.  Although I wrote them off and was looking forward to purchasing a new, more fashionable pair back in LA, a guy came around near the end of the flight with lost-and-found items, and I got the shades back.

The boat docked in Kom Ombo for a while so we could visit the temple.  Next two photos are from there:

Tracey (from our group), several toothless cobras and a partially toothless guy.

Temple of Kom Ombo (150 BC).

We docked at Edfu for the night.  Tonight was the kaftan party on the top deck.  This was the first time I'd stayed up past 11:30 PM (I napped a bit during the day so I was in good shape).  I had ~5 drinks which was the majority of my entire alcohol consumption for the entire tour.  I learned from the Aussies that Vegemite is good well past its expiration date; this helps me since I have a jar that expired in January 2000 that I'm still using.  We shared the boat with Crazy Germans.