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Walking The Nile with Captain Levison Wood - Upper Egypt; to Luxor and ever closer to home.

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: August 16, 2014

  • Temple of Wadi el Seboua.

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Having arrived in Aswan, Egypt, after a 24 hour tortuous journey on-board a cramped passenger tug boat, Captain Levison Wood, the 32-year-old former paratrooper from Forsbrook, is continuing in his quest to become the first recorded person ever to walk the entire 4,250 mile length of the river Nile from source to sea. With five countries now behind him and having commenced his trek in December 2013, his arrival in Egypt has coincided with the onset of the religious Festival of Ramadam. The following report is taken from his diary and records his personal thoughts about his adventures. Day 209 Lower Cataract Hotel; Aswan Monday 30th June "Having finally arrived in Egypt my search for the necessary permits to complete my walk are not in place, so I must undertake a tour of the necessary Ministries to seek permission to continue.

"Having undertaken a similar exercise several years ago I am well aware of the problems that lie ahead, so I have decided to employ a local 'go between' to overcome the language difficulties and the inevitable misunderstandings that will arise. "Thereafter several days of meetings, a mountain of triplicate form filling follows in which head shaking and the Egyptian word 'lahr' no! ; becomes the norm.

"I am told to be patient, stay in my hotel and I am given a 'minder' who sits silently in the corner of the entrance lobby and follows me everywhere I go.

"Day after interminable day I wait for the phone to ring and with little else to do, I decide to bring my daily diary up to date.

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"Days turn into a week, then two and almost three.

"My frustration at being incarcerated in the same 5 star room is ready to burst.

"The hotel seems like a prison and the walls appear to be closing in!

"With only my phone providing limited access to the outside world, the occasional calls to my parents and friends are the only respite from the daily humdrum of watching the ceiling fan whirl above my head.

"Finally I receive the message that I have been given permission to recommence my walk.

"Overjoyed by the news, the bank breaking amount of money that I have got to pay for permits seems worthwhile simply to be back on the road again." Day 225 Lake Nasser. Wednesday July 16th "Taking a taxi south and in the completely wrong direction from my ultimate goal and as close to the Egyptian Sudanese border the military will allow, my first steps after three weeks of idleness feel like I am walking on air.

"The heat, the sea of sand and the cooling breeze drifting from the largest manmade lake in Africa are sheer joys to experience.

"My sense of freedom is revived after the first ten miles or so, even though my minder travelling behind in a car is an unwelcome shadow I could well do without.

"Ignoring his presence I take the opportunity to visit the ancient ruins at Wadi el Saboua.

"Built over three thousand years ago in honour of Ramesses the Great, the Pharaoh who is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful Pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire.

"Taking in the wonderful sights that under normal circumstances would see throngs of tourists being led by eager guides around the ancient tombs they are now more often deserted and instead of a fleet of Nile cruise ships the river glides empty, devoid of its usual river craft.

"The day is a joy from start to end and the twenty eight miles I covered made my spirits soar!

"Even though I am forced to return each night to my hotel room and then venture back again the following morning by taxi to my previous end point, the staggered leapfrog back to Aswan is soon covered after nine days.

"Given that permission to walk around the Lake has never been given before I am overjoyed at setting another first." Day 234 North to Luxor Friday 25th July "Without taking any further breaks I am finally on the road to Luxor and covering new ground and heading home along the Nile.

"The 111 miles (179klm) is a pleasant stroll in comparison to the many miles I have covered before with green and pleasant stretch of farmland on either side of the river.

"Although the daily temperatures are still quite high, the intense heat of the desert is finally over.

"Meeting and chatting to local people is almost impossible as they can always recognise the face of authority following a respectful distance behind.

"They maintain their distance if I approach, so I deliberately lose my minders on several occasions by disappearing down a narrow alleyway to find somewhere to drink a coffee or buy a snack from a surprised vendor.

"Sooner or later I am found as the car arrives and I get a ticking off from my exasperated guard in broken English; but it's worth seeing his face as I shrug my shoulders and respond 'Anna assiflee enahim' or 'Sorry I don't understand!'

"Trouble is I don't think he understands me.

"Four days later we arrive in Luxor." Readers may wish to follow Levison's continuing journey on Walking the Nile on Facebook or WtN@Channel 4 or better still read the next Chapter of his adventure in this newspaper.

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