Our seventh day consisted of a longer journey time down the Nile, with a couple stops at some temples. It is nice to catch a break after so many long days of waking up early and arriving back late at night, but unfortunately it was not a break for me. While I did get to visit one temple, the rest of the time I was unfortunately in bed!
So sometimes when you’re traveling, you get sick. It can happen because of bacteria, viruses, fungi, whatever. It’s actually amazing how we’re not all sick all the time because these kinds of things are everywhere. And, as can probably be predicted by this lovely introduction, I got sick. And not just any types of sickness… no, of course it had to be some sort of food poisoning/stomach flu. Needless to say, Day 7 of our Egyptian adventure did not start out great. It’s funny because my biggest worry before embarking on this trip was the fact that I may get sick because of the food. I was warned time and time again about the water and how not to eat fresh vegetables that have been washed. I was so so so careful, but sometimes it can’t be helped.
Soon enough the entire boat knew I was sick. Because it was stomach related, my tour guide was required to inform all sorts of people. He was very helpful and indulged me with one of the funniest moments during the whole trip.
‘What kind of sickness is it?’
‘Yes, and lots of nausea’
‘Okay, so here, take this medicine’
‘Ummm… what is it?
‘Don’t worry. You have Egyptian sickness, you take Egyptian medicine’.
Sounded logical enough to me at the time. I took the medicine and went straight to bed, interrupting my naps with countless trips to the bathroom (sorry, folks). Unfortunately, I was not able to muster enough strength to make it off the boat that morning. I gave Victor my camera and told him to take lots of photos for me. They went to the Temple of Horus in Edfu.
As Victor explained to me, the most interesting part of this temple are the damaged heads of the engraved figures. Like other sites, many of the temple’s carved reliefs were razed by followers of the Christian faith which came to dominate Egypt. It reminded me so much of iconoclasm in which several statutes and sculptures were destroyed during the Reformation.
For lunch I was able to slowly make it downstairs to the dining room. I was given soupy rice (delicious!). I felt a little better and was able to go to the next temple, the Temple of Kom Ombo.
Temple of Kom Ombo
This temple is highly unusual and therefore quite different from other Ancient Egyptian temples. The Temple of Kom Ombo is set in a very fertile area where sugar cane fields took over the land. The temple is unique because it has duplicates of everything, reflecting the fact that it was dedicated to two sets of gods. Therefore, there are double amounts of courts, halls, sanctuaries, and rooms.
The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. There is a crocodile museum near the temple, which we decided to skip, but hey if that’s your thing!
The northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Horus, along with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor or Tefnet/Tefnut) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands).
Eventually the heat started to effect my stomach in a not-so-great way. I had to head back to the boat at this point, but I’m really happy I saw this perfectly symmetrical temple.
After resting up for several hours, I finally started to feel like myself again. Tonight was our traditional Egyptian night, meaning traditional clothing, food, and dance. In my previous post I mentioned the boat sellers. Well, now was the time to use those purchases.
I like to dress up, but perhaps not when I’m feeling a bit queasy! After eating some more soupy rice, I hung out with the boat crew for a bit enjoying the merriment. But then, like a tidal wave, sleepiness just hit me. I had been fighting something all day and it was time to get to bed. Despite an exhausting day, I still made the most out of it. I think that is the only way to combat sickness on a trip — giving it your all but also knowing when you’ve reached your limit.
Have you ever gotten sick on an epic trip? How did you handle it? Click here for Part IV.