Old Helouan

Posted: May 17, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

Yesterday DuRieu and I had leave and went forth to explore. We hired donkeys in the town and rode down to the banks of the Nile. DuRieu had never been on a donkey before and mine was a very rough little beggar, so we both looked very insecure as we bumped along. The river is quite three miles away I should say. Helouan appears to be planted right in the desert, very much like Heliopolis, so we had to cover a fair amount of desert. The country for about a mile and a half is irrigated. The people have a splendid system of spreading the water by means of canals and channels built up or dug out and fitted with gates. On either side of the river are enormous groves of palms towering away into the skies. Beneath these palms the land is irrigated and vegetables are grown in great quantities.

About a mile from the river there is a tumble down dilapidated looking village which is known as old Helouan. At one time this place was intended for the capital of Egypt. There really wasn’t much to see when we got there, just a few natives working, and a few fishing boats etc. Across the other side of the river are the pyramids Dagourah and Sakkara, and the Ruins of Memphis, but it was too far to go and see, although I must go sometime.

In the evening we met Kinnish, and we all had dinner at the English Winter Hotel. Our papers today say that you aren’t getting any news of our doings at all. I suppose you know that we have been engaged at the Dardanelles. I heard today from a British resident here that serious trouble is expected on the Canal before long. A British Army Corps is coming out to reinforce our men, and some of them are to be kept here for the Canal.

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