Setting off last month, Egyptian adventurers Omar El Galla and Omar Hossam embarked on a journey across Egypt, kayaking the length of the Nile, from Abu Simbel all the way to Ras El Bar, where the mighty river meets the Mediterranean Sea.
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#theNileOdyssey Day 24 // August 24th, 2020 ‘Sohag (سوهاج) to Tima (طما)’ Distance kayaked: 55 km Total distance kayaked to date: 795 km Yesterday’s rest day really paid off. We felt fresh and the weather conditions were now a lot better. We left Sohag at 9 am and took our first break after 22 km at Ash Shyraniyyah Island (جزيرة الشوارنية). 12 km later we had a short break at Tahta (طهطا) then paddled a further 21 km until we found a good camping spot near Tima (طما). All in all it was a smooth day, we kayaked 55 km, 5 km more than planned, and still felt like we had another 5 km in us. Use the link in my bio to track our progress and see our live location. #theNileOdyssey #KayakingEgypt
The pair’s 43-day voyage, dubbed ‘The Nile Odyssey’, began on August 1st and concluded last Saturday, September 12th, and was interspersed by adventure and adversity, as well as good old Egyptian hospitality by kind strangers along the way.
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#theNileOdyssey Day 14 // August 14th, 2020 ‘Daraw (داراو) to Edfu (إدفو)’ Distance kayaked: 61 km Total distance kayaked to date: 392 km We packed the kayak an were ready to go by 6:30 am. Ahead of us, was the first full day of kayaking in the river, and we were curious to see how much distance we could paddle, now that we’re moving with the current, unlike in the Lake when we were at the mercy of the wind. Our first stop was at a beautiful beach north of Kom Ombo. I never expected to see any like that on the Nile, a sand beach full of plam trees. We rested under one of the palm trees, ate a can of beans then took a dip in the water. Next we found cafeteria right by the shore whoch was convenient as this gives us the chance to grab coffee and a quick snack with our kayak in sight. Finally we saw another sand beach near Selwa, it wasn’t as serene as the one near Kom Ombo but nevertheless it was a sand beach on the Nile, and we just couldn’t say no to that. It was full of kids playing around in the water and as soon as we went on shore. A group of them came over, full of curiosity, they asked us a ton of questions, then hung out with us until we went on our way. Earlier that day, we agreed we would continue paddling until 5:30 pm, then consider any suitable camping spot that came after that. This happened at 5:45 pm, after kayaking 61 km, just a few kilometers short of Edfu, when we found a camping spot with a perfect view of the sunset. Use the link in my bio to track our progress and see our live location. #theNileOdyssey #KayakingEgypt
Kayaking a total distance of 1491 KM, Galla and Hossam set off from Abu Simbel, navigating the treacherous waters of Lake Nasser, battling strong winds, rough waves, a sandstorm and a scourge of mosquitoes, all in the sweltering August heat, before reaching Aswan.
“The crossing to Bab Kalabsha, the entrance to the last section of Lake Nasser, was the longest kayaking session in our journey without breaks! We had to kayak for 20 km in scorching heat, with the temperature hitting a peak of 45°C, until we reached the other side. After a long break, we kayaked for another 12 km to Dehmit where we dropped anchor for the night. The final 2 km kayaked today were the toughest in the journey so far, and probably one of the toughest moments I have been through in recent memory,” Galla wrote in a daily log of the ninth day of their adventure.
Sponsored by Very Nile, an environmental initiative aimed at cleaning the Nile and raising awareness about the perils of dumping inorganic waste in the river, the pair’s journey was mostly smooth sailing from Aswan to Ras El Bar.
“Paddling through the city of Ras El Bar, surrounded by hundreds of docked ships and colorful waterside buildings with the sight of the Mediterranean sea in the horizon was a so overwhelming, I can’t even put it in words,” Galla concluded in his last log of the voyage. “It was an awesome adventure with [Omar Hossam], together, we got to see Egypt from a very different perspective, and for 43 days, we experienced life in a very different way.”