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I remember those clear evenings when, after the peaceful navigation of the day, I used to stop and draw up my dahabiya to the bank of the river.
It is there, it seems, where we must stop our dahabiya in order to proceed to the fabulous palace which the rising sun has just disclosed to us.
The waters of the Nile being already low my dahabiya -- delayed by strandings -- had not been able to reach Luxor, and we had moored ourselves, as the darkness began to fall, at a casual spot on the bank.
How shall I find a quiet place for my dahabiya, where the functionaries of Messrs. Cook will not come to disturb me?
It is necessary to proceed farther and for the halt of the night to seek an obscure hamlet, a silent recess, where we may moor our dahabiya against the venerable earth of the bank.
Whoever has journeyed in a dahabiya up the old river will remember this song of the water-drawers, with its accompaniment, in slow cadence, of creakings of wet wood.
But the classic expedition by dahabiya, the ascent of the river from Cairo to Nubia, will soon have ceased to be worth making.
One may travel for league after league along this slimy water and make head for days and weeks against its current -- which glides everlastingly past the dahabiya, in little hurrying waves -- without seeing this warm, fecundating river, compared with which our rivers of France are mere negligible streams, either diminish or increase or hasten.
I set out from Luxor, where for many days my dahabiya had slumbered against the bank of the Nile.
Leaving the cosmopolitan town of modern Cairo, the iron bridges, and the pretentious hotels, with their flaunting inscriptions, it imparts a sense of sudden peacefulness to pass along the large and rapid waters of this river, between the curtains of palm-trees on the banks, borne by a dahabiya where one is master and, if one likes, may be alone.
knitandpurl commented on the word dahabiya
"He spoke in a hushed voice. "I traced Madame Lefoux to the dahabiya docks. A peculiar sort of place. Lost the scent there. I'm afraid she may have boarded a ship. ...""
Timeless by Gail Carriger, p 278
July 11, 2012