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SUN, SEAFOOD & SNORKELING, AT THE RED SEA!

The Red Sea, Egypt

sunny

October 17th 2019 Day 6

In the morning light we finally get a look at our surroundings. The camp is quite nice, it needs a little TLC but we are right on the beach. It is a little grey this morning which is a nice relief after the scorching heat of yesterday.

Poor Diana apparently I kept her awake, no I wasn't snoring, she reckons I fidget in my sleep and I hogged the bed, so sorry roomie!

The showers are hard to find but after getting directions from an Egyptian hippy I find them tucked away at the back of the main lounge area, they are basic and decorated with shells and fish scenes made from glass but at least the water is hot and helps to ease the tired muscles.

We drag our bags back across the sand to the restaurant lounge area, and breakfast is ready, it is a little underwhelming, but there is coffee!

Slowly the sun burns away the clouds and it becomes another bright beautiful day, we load up the mini bus and head for Dahab.

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What... I slept in that!

The landscape is rocky and beige hills fill the horizon, unlike the colors of the Jordan desert we left behind. The roads are modern and make for smooth driving. We actually make good time time getting to Dahab and arrive around lunch.

Our hotel is lovely right on the water front, in fact the only thing separating the pool from the rocky beach is the footpath.

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View from the hotel!

After waiting a bit to check in we dump our bags, the rooms have little balconies that overlook the pool and you can climb over the little railing and enjoy a cold drink from the pool bar and sip while you swim! Which is exactly what we do!

So we relax a little at the pool before arranging to meet up later. Roomie and I have to do some washing, I think this a new thing for her, handwashing your undies in the bathroom sink, but we have a clothes rack at the back door, handy!

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The Pool, definitely a big improvement to the last place!

We meet up and head into town, the girls need phone cards so we follow the main road, at first it is nothing great, dusty and cracked pavements but once phones have cards we head into town.

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Heading into town!

When you turn off towards the beach front, the shopping precinct becomes colorful and crowded, little shops stuffed with goods that spill out onto the street.

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Must be where the locals shop!

A colorfully painted fountain decorates the square it is definitely prettier in the town center.

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Found a cute little market square!

Dahab has a real beach vibe, some of the shops along the waterfront are really fun and quirky, with weird names and crazy art work.

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Such fun little shops!

We cross a bridge to the esplanade restaurants line both sides of the precinct, we walk for a bit before we decide it is time to eat and after reading all the menus it is a really difficult choice as they seem to be quite similar, but a view of the Red Sea is a must!

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Ah so this is where the food is!

We decide upon the The Green Valley their fresh fish cabinet has 2 of the biggest crayfish I have ever seen, the sign says they have "Lovely Food" so in we go.

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WOW... YUMM!

We are greeted by the friendliest laughing waiter, he directs us to a table that is right on the water,in fact there is a set of stairs so you can go for a swim while you wait for your food!

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Our table is right over the water!

Our waiter is fantastic, a funny short portly man with a range of facial expressions that belong in an Egyptian comedy.

For the first time in a while I have a beer, and I must say Egyptian beer isn't half bad. The manager comes over to take our order and offers 6 camels for Tracey (no not me the other Tracey!) and how quickly her husband replies "Yes!"

The atmosphere is relaxed and fun and the staffs humor is contagious. The table is soon filled with warm Pita Bread and dips.

The last 24 hours have been so tiring it is nice to relax with great company and have a laugh.

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So Delicious!

The food arrives and OMG, the seafood plate I ordered is gigantic, I will make it thru... the fish is coated in a thick crust of herbs and garlic, calamari rings so soft they melt in your mouth in a tomato herb sauce and large king prawns in paprika, lemon and garlic, plus all the sides that go with it... believe me when I say it's fantastic!

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Seafood, seafood and more delicious seafood!

We are so busy enjoying our food we barely notice the sun setting across the bay.

We have eaten so much that there is no room for dessert. And after thanking the fabulous manager and waiter we make our way back to the hotel.

But before we leave I just have to know how much that large crayfish costs, unlike the NZ ones these are black, and my Dad would be stoked to catch that in his crayfish pots, it weighs 2.5kg and costs $190US WHHHAAT!

We walk back along the waterfront, cats and dogs are roaming the streets, there are so many it makes my heart sad, we had a friendly little cat at the restaurant that we feed sneakily under the table and compared to these he was quite healthy.

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A night stroll along the beach front!

The bars seem quite empty, I guess Autumn is their off season. The wives and I discover one that advertises Lazzto coffee, and with their assurances that will make us lattes, we head on in.

We find big comfy eats set up on the beach, settling into the plush cushions we have a fantastic view of the Red Sea, lights sparkle across the water and after many guesses as to what country we are looking at, it takes a Google search to find out that it is the city of Magna in Saudi Arabia.

The coffees arrive and after a sneak peak at the menu we are too tempted not to order some cakes, and share them between us.

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Our little coffee spot om the beach!

The coffees were as good as they promised, it's nice to get away from the group, just the 4 of us. We chat for a while enjoying the views and the soft lapping of the water o n the shore. But it is getting late and we start to head back to the hotel.

Tomorrow we set off for a day of snorkeling, can't wait!

October 18th 2019 Day 7

That was the best nights sleep I have had on this trip! I am awake early and everyone is still slumbering and breakfast in the restaurant isn't open yet, so I head out for a walk finding myself back at the little coffee shop.

It is so peaceful sitting in the big comfy chairs watching he water lap at the shore. Dahab is quiet it hasn't quite woken up yet and I am enjoying the quiet for a while.

Breakfast is being served so I head back to the hotel and slowly everyone makes an appearance. The buffet is a large variety of goodies with everything from fresh fruit and cereal to eggs and sausages!

After a breakfast with wives we head to the our rooms and grab our day packs for a day of snorkeling!

we are separated into vans, and I must say it is a little uncomfortable, with the make shift built in wooden benches.

The drive isn't long and takes us around the bay, but believe me when I say you can feel every bump in the road on these seats!

Thank god that's over, there are a few bumped heads being massages as we clamber out!

It's a small tourist village and the Blue Hole sits just out past the rocky shore. It is bustling with visitors, so much going on there's Camels, divers, Tourist shops, equipment hired and restaurants (all rolled into one) line the rocky bank and we make our way to our spot for the day.

We order lunch before we get fitted for our snorkeling gear as it is going to be prepared while we out in the water.

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Map of the Blue Hole area!

I step back and watch the chaos as the other members of the group get fitted, we are all going into the water together and so no need to rush. Getting the flipper size is a little difficult as their sizing is different to Australia but we get there in the end!

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Getting geared up!

So with our snorkels and fins in hand we cross the road and make our way to the Blue Hole entrance! Which is starting to get crowded.

I don't know why I am nervous, it isn't like haven't snorkeled before, the ;last time was in Kaikora NZ when I swam with wild Dolphins out in deep ocean, although it was a few years and a few kilos ago!

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I hope so!

There is a narrow split in the rock where you get in and I will admit my entry isn't graceful at all! Hey you try to clamber over rocks in bare feet and then try to put on your flippers on the sharp rocky edge and try not to fall over while others push past you!

I am in... and the water is lovely and the view under water AMAZING!

The Blue Hole is roped off so you cant get past to the shallow sharp rocks. The center goes down and looks never ending. As the water deepens it goes from a beautiful cobalt blue to a deep navy.

Even as you enter in the shallows pretty little blue and green fish swim around you darting in and out of the rocks.

I know it is a big cliche, but it's like being in another world!

Suddenly my vision is swarmed with these cut little black and white fish, I like to call them Zebra fis, hey I dont know what they are called...!

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Swimming Zebras!

I stick to the reef edge and swim around, the rocks glow in the glassy water, bright blue fish with yellow tips dart away shyly between the corals, a black long snouted fish appears under me from out of nowhere. The pink, yellow and purple corals glow in the sun and sea anemones wave their multiply fingers with the movement of the sea.

OOOOHHH I know that one blue with orange and sliver stripes, your so fun!

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Well aren't you pretty!

There is so much to look at, that I cant get the camera to organized quickly enough to capture them all (I so need to get a better one and learn how to use it properly!) I see this beautiful ivory colored fish with copper red patterns and it quickly becomes on of my favorites, it's so pretty!

A Bright blue one with weirdly large lips and a beautiful tail swims by... hey there funny face!

I turn towards the deep gaping hole and the sinks down and I watch the divers go down until they disappear, the only trace they leave behind are the silver bubbles rising up from the depths. I wish I had learnt to dive but I stay along the reef and enjoy the beauty below.

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Your so fun!

No wonder Zoe and Hannie love to dive, it really is amazingly beautiful, it would be so serene if it wasn't so crowded. Clown fish dart away in fright flashes of orange in the corals.

But to be honest they are so quick I cant tell, I was so busy trying to get a photo that all I saw was orange!

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Oh so they were Clown Fish!

Two yellow, kinda flat bodied fish with blue eye patches swim right past me as I try not to get to close to the shallow reef, I think I got them on camera... let's hope so!

I find a quiet spot at the far end of the Blue hole and just float in silence camera at the ready!

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Oh WOW what a pair!

Yellow and black striped fish with elegantly long top fins swish around the rocks, stay still so I get a photo you lot! Hey, I recognize you... aren't you Angel Fish? Oh well you are fabulous... but somehow I think you know it!

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Awww... So angelic!

My quiet spot is suddenly not so quiet as I am joined by 3 others so I swim away, it is difficult to find another spot and after swimming around for a while I find another person free spot and float.

Black and white fish with rather long noses and bright yellow tails dive out of my way, damn I don't think I was quick enough with the camera. But wow you are kind weird... pretty but weird!

I so gotta learn the names of these beauties! It's kinda like learning the varieties of birds when on safari except I cant bring a guide book with me!

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Weirdly beautiful!

I guess we are on a time limit as the people are leaving, I pop my head up and the authorities are encouraging us to get out, all be rather politely, and encouragingly. So I take the long way round, I don't wanna leave I could stay in here all day.

I stop as little flashes of orange flutter through the coral, when I stop and try to float as still as possible, I notice how pretty they are and when the water still they come out and ignore my presence... awww they are so cute with their pink faces, flowing fins and tails!

It is amazing how much more you see when the sea is quiet of people!

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Awww what lovely little things you are!

Of course I am one of the last ones out, it's easy to get distracted and loose track of time.

We sit upstairs in the lounge area, there is an open balcony that over looks the sparking Red Sea and the beige rocky shore line.

So once we dry off there's time to relax and with cold drinks all around we wait for lunch to be served.

Admittedly lunch isn't that great, I ordered the fish and it is a little dry and bland, but hey the view is beautiful!

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The Blue Hole!

We spend a couple of hours relaxing before we grab our gear and walk a long the shoreline to a rocky out crop.

Set into the rock face are memorial stones dedicated to those that died diving the Blue Hole. Ok maybe that is something we should have know before we got in the water, but hey, I never felt unsafe!

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Blue Hole Memorial!

The water out here is a little choppy compared the calm of the Blue Hole. Getting in is more difficult than this morning and once again a graceful and agile entrance is not happening!

Once out in the water I fiddle with my camera only to discover the battery is too low to take pictures and while I busy with that I somehow drifted onto the shallow corals. With the rough water pushing me closer it is difficult to swim away as the tide keeps pushing me forward, luckily our guide pulls me back "Big thanks!" didn't really want scratches all over my arms and legs... ouch!

We can see the little township from the water as we make our way around the reef edge!

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One last pic before the camera died!

The view of the reef is amazing, the corals glow under water and the beautiful colorful fish dart in and out of the reef shelves. There are bigger varieties too...

WTF... OUCH... WTF...! Tiny little strands of Jellyfish hang in the water and yes thy sting! They are no larger than a strand of sewing cotton... but bloody hell they hurt! No wonder we are the only ones out here...!

On the face, arms, legs... well all over actually! It is really hard to enjoy the beauty of this underwater world below.

It gets too much and we head back to the Blue Hole, I try to stop enjoy the view but after more constant stinging it is time to get out.

We dry off and the pain lasts quite awhile, it is hard to relax, but I am glad to be in dry clothes once again!

It's back in the vans for the bumpy ride back to the hotel!

A hot shower feels good and the stinging has dissipated... thank god!

The view of the reef is amazing, the corals glow under water and the beautiful colorful fish dart in and out of the reef shelves. There are bigger varieties too...

WTF... OUCH... WTF...! Tiny little strands of Jellyfish hang in the water and yes thy sting! They are no larger than a strand of sewing cotton... but bloody hell they hurt! No wonder we are the only ones out here...!

On the face, arms, legs... well all over actually! It is really hard to enjoy the beauty of this underwater world below.

It gets too much and we head back to the Blue Hole, I try to stop enjoy the view but after more constant stinging it is time to get out.

We dry off and the pain lasts quite awhile, it is hard to relax, but I am glad to be in dry clothes once again!

It's back in the vans for the bumpy ride back to the hotel!

A hot shower feels good and the stinging has dissipated... thank god!

The wives and take a walk into town along the waterfront, we walk past the restaurants and explore further along, half built and abandoned resorts line the walkway, if they were finished this would look amazing. We reach the end and head back the main streets.

We meet up for a group dinner, Mohammad has arranged a table at the same restaurant we were at last night, by pure chance. but hey why mess with a good thing!

We have the same waiter as yesterday and if it is possible he is more comical tonight, he reminds me of an Egyptian Emmanuel from Faulty Towers. The restaurant owner comes over, Mohammad and he greet each other like old friends.

Again the table is filled with warm bread and dips, and because we returned they are on the house, that's so nice!

I change it up a bit tonight and order a seafood platter... but this time it has a whole crab! When the meals arrive it is huge! I will give it a go!

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Don't look at me like that, I am still going to eat you!

OK... it beat me, i just couldn't finish it all, but I wasn't the only one and to our defense the portions are are mega huge!

We sit and enjoy the view. The night is so clear Saudi Arabia sparkles across the sea.

We walk back to the hotel, the shops and streets are bustling open late into the evening. this is such a fun little town!

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No!.. I didn't buy anything!

We are a little quiet walking back, I guess it is because of the impending goodbyes to wife number 4 in Cairo.

It is a lovely night the sky is clear, the stars are twinkling and the air is warm.

Diana an sty up and chat for a while, I am going to miss this crazy fantastic girl!

Tomorrow we fly to Cairo!

Posted by TracingTheWorld 22:41 Archived in Egypt

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