Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff
whilst Rosemary Mahoney, in 1998, took a solo journey down the Nile in a seven-foot rowboat, she chanced on glossy Egypt for herself. As a rower, she confronted crocodiles and testy river currents; as a feminine, she faced deeply-held ideals approximately international girls whereas carefully last open to real friendship; and, as a vacationer, she skilled occasions that ranged from the funny to the hair-raising--including an stumble upon that begun as some of the most scary of her lifestyles and ended as an edifying and chastening lesson in human nature and cultural false impression. no matter if she's assembly Nubians and Egyptians, or discovering connections to Westerners who traveled up the Nile in past times--Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert between them--Mahoney's educated interest concerning the international by no means ceases to captivate the reader.
"A pilgrimage approximately pilgrims and holy locations that's not in simple terms enlightening but in addition very funny." -Paul Theroux (on The Singular Pilgrim)
"Mahoney is a perfectly powerful catalytic agent: she is going to eire and simply makes the rustic ensue round her." -Jonathan Raban (on Whoredom in Kimmage)
"Mahoney, who has been rowing for 10 yr, brilliantly juxtaposes an account of her personal palm-blistering hours at the Nile....with the diary entries of 2 Victorian travelers-Gustave Flaubert and
Hair. A moment ground was once an indication of prestige; each person needed to have one. there have been many small outbuildings for animals the following and a community of low dust partitions to corral them. aged girls sat on stoops in black robes and veils. I by no means heard shouting right here, and within the time i used to be the following nobody had ever stated hi to me or requested me the place i used to be going or attempted to promote me something or pleaded with me to rent them or beseeched me to provide them a pound or a pen. all people appeared sleepy within the noon heat;.
And down she snorted and acknowledged, “Nahp! you were given no outfits that healthy me!” Now, a yr later, i used to be rowing prior the temple within the smallest boat in Egypt, relocating alongside the Kom Ombo curve, an almost ninety-degree flip to the west. The river used to be very extensive right here, and rancid to my left the Libyan wilderness seemed huge, immense and empty, its sandstone ridges and cliffs the colour of rust. I rowed and watched the temple cut down because it receded, and remembered a remark that Flaubert had made concerning the temples and stones.
Sardines and tuna fish, olives, cheese, and fruit. I had stumbled on a ironmongery shop close to the teach station and purchased a few home made cotton rope in case the cord that sure my oarlocks broke. i purchased a size of thicker rope as a spare painter or anchor line. in the dead of night and dusty ironmongery store, I had rummaged amid the massive spools of rope, and while I lifted one huge spool to look at the spool underneath it, the shopkeeper ran over and lifted the rope out of my palms. whilst I instructed him I didn’t.
bathe of particles and ripped clean thorn holes in my shirtsleeves and palms. ultimately I blundered unfastened and into the present of the river. i used to be clammy with sweat, and cursing aloud in a voice wavering with reference to tears, and all of the whereas the ice-blue stars glittered and the yellow moon glowed progressively and the river flowed in its lazy, undulating, eddying method. i used to be bereft. I moved on, trying to find coves, checking out spots underneath overhanging palm timber and discovering not anything appropriate. and that i started to query.
Fears might were extra based, and my morning could might be by no means have come. while the solar was once solidly within the sky and the day in Qena had began, I amassed up my possessions and stepped onto the dock. there has been nobody round to offer my boat to, and so i made a decision to only go away it there at the dock for a few fortunate fisherman to discover. I hated leaving it. I had long gone to such lengths to discover it. It had carried me this a ways and felt like a pal now, with its goofy crimson hearts, its purple graffiti approximately.