Sand - the village looks less poor than the last one.

April 5th, 1850, 6pm


Sand - the village looks less poor than the last one. A big tree, under which oxes from the Sennahar region, with their Apis-like heads and the hump on their withers. To the right climbing towards the temple is a square mosque, rather clean building made of grey silt - we climb, children take cables to use as torches.

Dromos destroyed, mutilated colossus. A few only have a few stones or hang together in some of their parts. One has its head upside down on the ground.

Speos as in Ibsamboul, colossus of the same style, stockier. The alley between them is narrow. On the side of the path, square holes in the wall where unrecognizable statues; Inside, the colossus wear lions heads on their belly, in place of a belt-clip. One is blinded and dizzy with all the bats. They circle and shriek. Our Arab children wave their torches - one of them standing on a stone, as if on a table and raising his torch in the air. When they leave by the entrance, one can see the blue sky through the thin grey wings of the bats. At the door, a donkey was standing, cut out against the light - beyond, sky and Nile all blue; between the sky and the Nile a yellow line, it’s the sand.

We get back to the village. An old man, clean, with a white beard, end up selling Maxime a bottle of antimony. A man in white smoking a chibouk on a doorstep gives Joseph a handshake - inside the house, a slave merchant seating on a mat - to his left a long iron chain is hanging, to be used in his trade; Joseph has his eyes on it for the voyage to Syria; boarding the boat; beating of the kids, who are rushing too eagerly for the batchis.

After a while, stopped because of the head wind. Bought two leather necklaces on the right bank.

At sunset we arrive at Dendur. The first star appears while I sit on the temple’s outside wall; collapsed stones - puffed palm trees, to the right a bit of greenery; the Nile is quite and the mountains which, towards Abu Horr on my left, were wine-red earlier, are black.

David Wade and Conor said thanks.

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Gustave Flaubert

"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." [extracts from Flaubert's travel diary written in 1849-1851]

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