|We continued our cruise. The land here is an interesting contrast between the green farmland at the water's edge and the brown sand that dominates the landscape just a kilometer beyond the Nile. During a stop in a small town called Esna, we left the ship and explored back alleyways. We walked into a local militia, men armed with machine guns and dressed in flowing Arabic garb. It's never a comfortable situation to be around people with assault rifles, especially when they suddenly stop talking and pointedly stare in your direction. We said "Fursa Sa-ida" (Pleased to meet you) and left quickly.