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By Rosemary Mahoney

While Rosemary Mahoney, in 1998, took a solo journey down the Nile in a seven-foot rowboat, she chanced on smooth Egypt for herself. As a rower, she confronted crocodiles and testy river currents; as a feminine, she faced deeply-held ideals approximately overseas girls whereas carefully last open to actual friendship; and, as a traveller, she skilled occasions that ranged from the funny to the hair-raising--including an come upon that begun as probably the most scary of her lifestyles and ended as an edifying and chastening lesson in human nature and cultural false impression. even 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 trained interest in regards to the international by no means ceases to captivate the reader.

"A pilgrimage approximately pilgrims and holy areas that isn't purely enlightening but additionally very funny." -Paul Theroux (on The Singular Pilgrim)

"Mahoney is a superbly powerful catalytic agent: she is going to eire and simply makes the rustic occur 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 Florence Nightingale."
--Lisa Fugard, New York instances ebook Review

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This, i assumed, used to be how hobos lived, and it used to be effortless to work out the allure of that freedom and irresponsibility. I heard the sound of a tractor coming from a few indeterminate spot around the river, then discovered it wasn’t a tractor in any respect however the purring of frogs tuning up for the night within the grasses throughout me. Egypt was once jam-packed with audio and visible methods like this. In Egyptian cities and towns, what you're thinking that is a fantastically coloured chook in a tree is known as a plastic trash bag stuck on a sprig. What you're thinking that is the sound of crickets is de facto somebody’s chirpingly off-centered fan belt. At an historical temple, what you think that is the whistling of a few infrequent poultry is known as a soldier attempting to get your cognizance. after which in case you arrive within the state, what you're thinking that is a lumpy heap of trash floating down the river is admittedly 4 knobby-headed water buffalo crossing from one facet to the opposite. What you're thinking that is clutter snagged on a tree department can be a appealing poultry. What you think that is a guy hissing and clacking at you is actually the rattle of the ever present maculate kingfisher. It looked as if it would me there have been a restricted variety of sounds on the earth, and nature and people borrowed them from one another. Kingfishers plopped into the river. A raft of pelicans floated by means of. A red-legged stint gingerly picked his method in the course of the water hyacinths. whilst an extended steel barge got here motoring upriver towards Luxor, I felt a hobo’s urge to hoot and throw a stone at it. Darkness got here speedy. I huddled round my hearth and ate a few bread and tuna fish and apples. This used to be an odd position for a foreigner to be sitting by myself. You couldn’t name it a desolate tract, for there have been humans under a mile from right here in each path. however it was once an empty spot on the fringe of the river and that i was once by myself. That suggestion made my pulse quicken, made my head snap round to determine who will be impending. awaiting the evening forward, i used to be undeniably frightened. I kicked sand over the fireplace, repositioned my anchor within the dust, and lay down within the boat with my sweater as a pillow. As I lay down, a handful of cockroaches crawled out from less than the faux grass at the backside of the boat and scurried alongside the gunwales and over my palms and footwear. they'd been there all day, hiding. less than the other conditions, i'd were disgusted via the sight of them, yet right here I didn’t care. i used to be drained and had no selection yet to sleep within the boat with what-ever unsavory creatures have been in it with me. The river’s present lightly bent the reeds round me, and the sand 3 toes from my boat gave off vents of hot air. Venus and a number of other vivid stars forged lengthy trails of sunshine at the water. I watched the stream of the celebrities, sliding east to west. finally the moon, simply wanting being complete, was once so vibrant it dimmed the celebrities, and that i chanced on that by means of the sunshine of it i'll write in my workstation and not using a flashlight. solid onto the land, the sunshine of the moon used to be greenish — it glowed and made the grass glance black and the sand appear like lots of snow, simply as all of the tourists earlier than me swore it did.

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