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Nile River

Luxor, Luxor City, Luxor, Luxor Governorate, Egypt

Lovely Luxor

At dawn we gathered, a handful of cyclists bound for Egypt's Valley of the Kings on the Nile's West Bank. We'd seen the Red Sea Coast on two wheels, on Egypt's first organized bike tour with Bike Beyond Boundaries (www.bikebeyondboundaries.com), but here was a new form of transport: felucca, a small boat used to carry a dozen or more passengers, typically outfitted with sails, masts and sometimes a motor.

Rooted in Arabic (فلوکه faluka, small boat), the word felucca originally comes from the Greek epholkion, "paliskermo," or boat. In Egypt, it's the best way to cross the Nile to the West Bank, where you can climb through centuries of ancient civilization in the Valley of the Kings.