The Orton's on the Nile - 2005

Pampering & Pool

Pampering & Pool

On our return to the boat we had been greatly thankful to find one of the waiters handing out cool flannels to mop the sweat out of our eyes and cool the neck briefly. It is amazing how nice this feels combined with the chill of the air conditioning. Back in the room they had spruced everything up again and our towels were transformed into a variety of folded beast including: crocodile, swan, monkey etc. They never stayed that way long - cool shower needed to clean off.

Back on deck and they had the traditional long Arab 'nightgown' (galabiyya) and belly dancing rigs out on display outside the shop. Latter on we were reminded there would be a traditional Egyptian dress night party and barbeque. Quick look at the prices confirmed they were a bigger fiddle than paying income tax over 150 years after the battle of Waterloo.

Adam and Luke were already kitted out as a couple of oil sheiks courtesy of the boat traders, but neither me nor Annette fancied going the whole hog. We had a couple of days to look around and there were some smart yokel neck embroidered t-shirts that I could probably get away with combined with my 50p pantomime 'Buttons' genuine Chinese Nubian hat.

Anyway, we had a nice cool beer and sat around the pool watching the Nile go by. We had started our journey back up river on the West bank side; Kitchener's Island and more temples awaited and perched high on the hillside, the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan (was this the bloke that invented all those wood burning stoves??) of Peter Sarstedt fame.

Adam and Luke went off splashing about, bombing in and out of the pool sending a refreshingly cold spray onto Vanessa and Dan who were sunbathing and anyone else near the pool. Unlike in cooler climes, there was no need to complain, splashing was positively encouraged. I sat reading my guide book and practicing my Arabic sipping my beer, Annette read a little and watched boats going by.

After a time Adam disappeared below and returned with his inflatable Killer whale (not a sex toy!!!) and persevered until it was inflated to a size that took up a good piece of the pool. It had been bought several years before and never used because of his liver, so it was a first outing.

Consequently he was a little too large for the designed load carrying capacity so when he sat on its back and grabbed the handles he was promptly dumped under water as it turned turtle. This cause me and Annette much merriment, I could hardly drink my beer! Adam tried again, and again. Then Luke had a go - all ducked, this maverick did not want to be saddled. It was getting to be like a soggy water rodeo with the plastic whale a clear winner.

Fortunately we managed to capture some of the finest moments on video for prosperity, but to give Adam his due he kept on until he mastered it and was pretty soon cocky enough to use the grips to haul the nose out of the water and bang it up and down splashing Luke. He looked like he was riding a crazed up 'Flipper', but he stayed on. Yes of course I had a go and yes I got dunked, but in my defence I weigh almost twice as much as Adam.

Walking about the deck barefoot was a little tricky; even with carpet down it was so hot it burned your feet. It was quite funny watching somebody climbing out of the pool and stepping or sitting down on the edge and suddenly leaping up again. Made us all think of the whole "hot enough to fry and egg" syndrome and many a comment was passed to this effect. Adam took it literally. He kept on pestering the waiters for a raw egg and eventually he got three raw eggs.

So the scene was set for the great 'Fry an Egg' experiment. By now we had most of the British team hooked on the idea. Me and Bob cleaned up a glass toped table and smeared a little butter on it and we moved it into the sunlight and round one was under way. Advice came from all quarters and it was difficult to get the table into the sunlight for everyone crowding round and casting shadows. The yolk started to turn quite quickly, but to our disappointment the white remained runny.

"It must be because the glaaas (Southern drawl from Londonaaa) reflects the light back, you need something dark to hold the heat." Me and Bob gently carried the tabletop over to lay on the carpet, like we were moving an unexploded mine. No spillage, yolk cooked and some of white starts to turn.

"Ere Daaave (another Southerner) try it on the edge of the pool that's red hot." We crack another egg and this time bob's wife has produced some tinfoil for us to put the egg in with the theory that you use foil in an oven to cook your meats. Once again the egg is laid out in the sunlight - they are right you cannot sit down on this, but I am a little concerned that at university we used tinfoil to reflect light and heat away and although the egg showed signs of cooking at first it quickly stayed a gooey mess.

By now the front end of the ship was out of the water, everyone was around the stern watching us trying to cook eggs. Half hour latter, eggs looking rather sad, one on the table had dried up, but remained translucent and our tinfoil job was another flop. Just then I spotted the work surface of the bar was a black Formica imitation granite and I went over to inspect. Not meant for leaning on that's for sure and the hottest yet! We were just in the process of cracking the last egg when we changed course and our deck top oven was plunged into shade. We gave up. Cleaned up the goo and reflected on our failures. We'll get you next time eggs.

So it just goes to show - it has to be bloody hot to fry an egg on deck!

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Copyright 2005 D.J.Orton and A.G.Morris