After the shows a bunch of us flew to Luxor in Upper Egypt, where the Karnak Temple is, and the Valley of the Kings with Tutankaman’s tomb. We got special permission to go inside that. And we hired a train of donkeys and took a steep, rocky trail over the mountain to Queen Hap Set Shut’s temple. We passed a village whose inhabitants were entirely devoted to grave robbing in those parts. These guys had been robbing tombs for thousands of years. Good jobs run in the family.
Richard had arranged a boat trip on the Nile. Ati, the boatman, spoke English and was like the Ambassador along the Nile. He knew everyone from Aswan to Cairo. When we were on the dock at Luxor getting ready to leave, Donna came over to me and said “How soon are we gonna get there? Like I told Keith, he wanted to know and I told him about half-an-hour” And I said. “More like two-and-a-half days,” I said. We were going to Aswan! There were about 20 of us on the boat, including most of the band, and at night the deck was like sardines. All those people were sleeping on the boat under packing blankets, the scratchy kind — it was cold at night. We stopped at all the temples along the Nile. It was fun, it was great. At Aswan, Mickey went on deep into the Sudan and recorded the musicians in the villages. This is where Hamza el Din comes from. Hamza and a troupe of handclappers, singers and dancers opened the shows for the band. – Sue Stephens
Arriving at Aswan after a three-day cruise up the Nile from Luxor; Mickey, Hamza and Jerilyn had gone on ahead to Aswan and welcomed the new arrivals with drums from the balcony of the hotel, which overlooked the river.
Photo Credits: Main photo – Jerilyn Lee Brandelius, Others – Richard Loren