After our fabulous Nile river cruise we spent a day in Luxor at the same overlanders hotel that we had stopped by when we were driving through. They were excited to see us again, but a bit puzzled as to why we weren’t with our vehicles. As before, they cooked a lavish dinner for us, and we gorged ourselves to the point of food coma, after which we retired to our rooms to prepare for the next day’s train ride back to Aswan.
We had elected to grab second-class tickets back, which provided the four of us with a booth which we and our luggage just fit into. Of course, as is usual the train was overbooked, so we had people sitting on our armrests for the duration of the journey, and had other passengers constantly walking up and down the aisle, smacking their luggage into my head as I tried to get some shuteye during our eight hour journey.
Back in Aswan again after our brief sojourn, we resumed our normal routine of making phone calls, consulate visits, pizza eating, researching alternate plans, and felucca rides along the Nile. By this point we had been in Egypt for about three weeks, and had built a comfortable life amongst the inhabitants of the city. We had our favorite juice bars that we’d visit (love the fresh green grape juice), the shisha spots that we’d hit up after dinner, and an odd cast of people that we met with regularly on our quest to obtain the almighty Sudanese visas that we so desperately needed.
One of those characters was Timur. Timur was the guy who had met us on our first day in Aswan and taken us for our first round of rejections at the Sudanese consulate. We had developed a good relationship with him, and met on a frequent basis to chat visas or just grab some strawberry juice together. As an independent tour guide, Timur did a great job helping us arrange our day-to-day tasks around the city, book our Nile cruise, and setup our overnight felucca cruise that we had been wanting to book for a while, amongst other things. He served as a kind of middleman in many of the negotiations throughout our visa acquisition ordeal, and was an invaluable friend throughout our time in Aswan.